The Times of Israel header - Need a Purim mask? Try one in 3D

Guy Aon showing his photo developing technology that allows him to place photos on the body, in a kind of flexible body mask

Guy Aon showing his photo developing technology that allows him to place photos on the body, in a kind of flexible body mask

Photographer Guy Aon wasn’t thinking about Purim when he created a flexible, 3D printed mask. But it may come in handy next week during the holiday of costumes and merry making.

Aon was an industrial design student at Bezalel, researching how to create three-dimensional photos, when he figured out — after months of study — how to develop a photo on his skin.

Guy Aon showing his photo developing technology that allows him to place photos on the body, in a kind of flexible body mask

It was part of his ongoing interest in integrating the body at the center of his photographs. Now, however, he had figured out how to create highly flexible, thin prints, ones that can be made into incredibly realistic masks and second skins, of a sort.

Aon found a much easier method of changing visages, than what they used in that spooky 1997 movie, “Face/Off,” featuring Nicholas Cage and John Travolta.

Guy Aon showing his photo developing technology that allows him to place photos on the body, in a kind of flexible body mask

Aon had made his way to the chemistry department at Hebrew University, where he discovered paper that dissolves in water. From there, he worked on developing photos on that paper, and figuring out what he could do with that technique.

Guy Aon showing his photo developing technology that allows him to place photos on the body, in a kind of flexible body mask

It took seven months, but using pure ink and the ancient Japanese marbling technique of Suminagashi melded with modern-day inkjet andUV printing, Aon was able to isolate the photographic material into floating ink.

Guy Aon showing the photo developing technique he developed

Guy Aon showing the photo developing technique he developed

Now he was able to transpose images into water and then onto all kinds of surfaces, including masks, fabric and, the human body.

Guy Aon uses dissolving paper in his developing technique

“That’s how it was all born,” he said. “And I realized it could have all kinds of impact when my phone recognized the mask I made of my own face.”

Aon was intrigued by how this new technique could be used to possibly change identities, protect one’s privacy and disrupt face-recognition and surveillance systems.

Guy Aon uses dissolving paper in his developing technique

Guy Aon uses dissolving paper in his developing technique

“It has longer lasting effects,” he said. “People will want to protect their information and this will allow that.”

The printing method, which Aon described as a cold elastic mask that feels a lot like putting on makeup, is also safe to be used on the body and can be used as permanent makeup, and in the fashion industry as well.

Guy Aon uses dissolving paper in his developing technique that allows him to place photos on the body

Guy Aon uses dissolving paper in his developing technique that allows him to place photos on the body

“It’s like wearing a photo on your body, but because it’s done hydroponically in water, it’s comfortable,” he said.

Aon gives lectures about his methodology and his work is currently being shown in two exhibits in Tel Aviv, “Costume Party” at the Edmond Rothschild Center, 104 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, until May 1 and his body skin kimonos made from photographs, at the Binyamin Gallery, 5 Shvil Ha-Merets (3rd floor), Tel Aviv.

For next week, though, it’s all about the masks.

Guy Aron with one of his masks