While much of the Western academic tradition focuses upon the external world, we shifted the paradigm and became “inner astronauts” in order to understand how our perceptual lenses influence that which we study. Integrating concepts from psychology, mythology, sociology and Eastern spirituality, we created masks as tangible representations of our lives, hopes and dreams.
—Students Michael Lung, Carter Muenchau, Emlyn Thompson
My idea was to show my life at school, and how I put on a white mask, but also that I’m breaking through it. This psychological repression will not last. Under the mask is myself which is black. It represents black stereotypical things I like to do, but can’t talk about at school. In creating this mask I realized I don’t want to hide myself. It’s a rude awakening.
Women have been socially constructed to think being emotional is a bad thing. Living in this society, I too hide my true emotions. My mask portrays a person who has used smiles to cover up frowns, laughter to cover up tears, and jokes to cover up harsh words.
My mask is made of plaster strips, four layers of Plaster of Paris, and two coats of Modge Podge. I am truly sensitive. Society ostracizes men who show the slightest bit of emotion, and so, over the years I have developed a hardened shell.
Every action begins with a thought, and every thought rides upon a sensation. What if young people learned how to release negative thought patterns before they devolved into destructive behavior? The process begins with an honest acknowledgment of their inner landscape.
To learn more about this and other projects visit www.hightechhigh.org/projects