Patrick Hirose draws from the experiences of the marginalized: of the social outsiders, of the salaryman, and of the retirees, as the basis to his work. His interest lies in the perverse behaviors in which these often overlooked groups resort to when they are shortchanged by society. As such, the work offers a glimpse into the solitude of his personal struggles and shortcomings in keeping pace with conventional decorum. Temporary liberation is found in smoking, which for Hirose, represents forfeiture and voluntary apathy when, once again, the blunt end has been served. His cigarette boxes series presents a mingled gang of ill-formed characters, that of absorbed anxiety, angst, lust, hunger, and pity personified, whom for the duration of a cigarette-or several-are exhaled. Reflecting also on a short stint he spent as a salaryman in Tokyo, during which Hirose frequently found himself in smoking rooms lamenting about work with coworkers and bosses alike, the series revels in those few fleeting moments of mutual understanding and unlikely connection. Like it or not, we are all in this together.