At what time of day do you really get your head out of the flow of negative thoughts? When do you find serenity and dedicate yourself completely to yourself? Some holistic medical textbook might recommend a yoga session, but Turkish photographer Cihan Öncü pinpointed that moment during months spent in the salon of a hairdresser friend of his. Öncü observed the people inside the store, particularly at the head-washing station, and found them absorbed in their own thoughts, their lost eyes pointing to the ceiling and in some cases their mouths slightly open, while two hands swelled the shampoo foam that covered their hair.
Cihan Öncü chose this irrelevant moment in people’s lives for his photo series not by chance. He himself noticed during the pandemic how stressed the people around him were, so he began to wonder when they were able to carve out a moment of brainlessness. He then remembered the moments in the salon, and the sensation of feeling really relaxed and carefree, like a child, so he chose to photograph the clients trying to put them at ease, asking them not to mind the camera, hoping to receive some of that happiness in turn.
Cihan Öncü’s photos are an ASMR video for images, in which you can hear the sound of warm water flowing and that of fingers massaging heads. The warm, artificial light illuminates the faces and pupils of the eyes that manage to stay open, creating an almost psychological point of view with what are, arguably, very relaxed people.