Virginia Mak is a prominent Toronto-based photographer who is well known for her luminous images of lone figures. The use of soft focus and minimized light values in her work create painterly effects, pushing the medium beyond its traditional limits. In the Countenance series, Mak explores the human face. Our face is our front. Our face expresses emotion, or predicament. We can recognize a face by the overall shape, or the gestures that accompany it. Even if we were to squint our eyes, thus blurring what we see, we can make out traces of the persona.