Tagged Mapping Melbourne 2020-21

Mask: Mapping Melbourne 2020-21

Mask 2020, video 4.02 min. still cut / Taking an ID photo  2020, video 37 sec. still cut
Mask 2020, video 4.02 min. still cut / Taking an ID photo 2020, video 37 sec. still cut

The project, Mask, explores the notion of a mask through self-performed images to refute fixed identity and cultural perceptions based on a person’s ethnic background. It is a great opportunity to realise this project as the part of Mapping Melbourne 2020/2021 program, which shares the same value of advocating the equity of the human being with the perspective of an Asian-Australian.

Mask-toilet paper / Mask-grocery mesh bags (from the photographic series Mask)
Mask-toilet paper / Mask-grocery mesh bags (from the photographic series, Mask 2020) : Nikon D700

The current Covid-19 pandemic appears to offer the chance to reflect on how we live together and it reminds of the deeply rooted racial discrimination. The absurd syllogistic reasoning prejudge people based on their appearance. The project, Mask, refutes fixed identity based on ethnicity through multiple interpretations of a mask and performing body with a perspective of an Asian-Australian:

A mask is to protect from the spreading of the virus.

: It is to protect from the physical and verbal violence on Asian-looking people with the blame of spreading the virus.

: It is a vulnerability of people who are exposed to discrimination like a weaken immune system

: It is a disguise of the selfish act with an excuse of survival and uncertainty of the future.

: It is the beautification of whiter and fairer skin to resemble white Westerners within the Eurocentric concept of beauty and superiority.

: It is a superficial representation of a person regardless of inner character.

The unidentifiable blurring face and damaged Instant ID photographs imply the ambiguity of identity with the debate on the veracity of truth on the visual representation of appearances. Mask advocates the equity of the human being, colliding hierarchisation and binary structure of white and non-white people under the notion of humanism.

Instant ID photo poster 3 / Instant ID photo poster 5 (from the series, Instant ID photo poster 2020):  Mamiya RB67 camera with 4x5" Polaroid films
Instant ID photo poster 3 / Instant ID photo poster 5 (from the series, Instant ID photo poster 2020): Mamiya RB67 camera with 4×5″ Polaroid films

Online Launching Event: 10 December 2020, MAV (Multicultural Arts Victoria)

All works of Mask can be viewed at: https://www.mav.org.au/event/mask-by-soyoun-kim/