While Eardley’s initial artistic impetus was to deepen his and his viewers’ understanding of different ethnic groups and their cultures, the images themselves revealed even more than he had originally conceived. One day, while reviewing negatives of two portraits, one from China the other from Egypt, on the light table in his darkroom, he aligned the two and, in a heart-stopping moment, he saw a new image appear. These were no longer portraits celebrating cultural distinctions but rather a “serendipitous dissolving of cultural identity.” In that moment the full meaning and purpose of the Relative Project revealed itself.