Each of these masks that I've made is a self-portrait. The materials range from papier-mâché combined with photographs to also including Japanese papers, wire, fabric, thread, washi tape and thermoplastic.
Some of these masks explore my cultural identity as half-Japanese. Some explore identity in a broader sense, using layers or masks wearing masks or by misaligning the facial features or by using the inside space of the masks. I also create "Inside Out" masks which have hidden faces on the inside/concave space of the masks.
See the galleries below for different categories of masks.
Somewhere In Between
This series of 5 masks is called Somewhere in Between. The faces on the front of the mask are identical except for the slanting of the eyes. They range, in theory, from Caucasian to Japanese, but of course isn't realistic. The mask in the middle most representative of me as half-Japanese. These "Inside Out" masks have faces on the concave space of the masks which represent my inner world, so the eyes are closed as if in meditation. These have been exhibited in different ways - on custom built pedestals, or by hanging them from fishing lines so they hang and spin like a mobile. Either way they line up so they match my height to mimic my presence. A really cool illusion called The Hollow-Face Illusion happens when you view the concave faces at a certain angle- the faces appear to protrude out into space.
Japanese Masks: These masks are a blend of my self-portrait with different characters from Japanese pop culture, theatre, dolls and folklore. Click on any mask to enlarge the photograph.
Self Portrait (Noh)
Self Portrait as Tengu (#1)
Self Portrait (Kabuki)
Self Portrait as Kitsune:Spirit Fox
Self Portrait as Yokai #3
Self Portrait as Hello Kitty
Self Portrait as a Daruma Doll
Self Portrait as a Japanese Ghost
Self Portrait as Tengu (#2)
Self Portrait (Anime)
Self Portrait as Okame
Self Portrait as Robot Geisha
Self Portrait as Yokai #1
Self Portrait as Kaonashi:NoFace
Self Portrait as Yokai #2
Self Portrait as Katana
Self Portrait (Japanese Doll)
Self Portrait as Bunraku Transformation
Self Portrait as Bunraku Transformation
Self Portrait as Bunraku Transformation
Self Portrait as a Geisha
Self Portrait (Folk Character)
Self Portrait as a Kokeshi Doll
Self Portrait (Obon Neko)
Self-Portrait (Split) is one of my favourite masks. It is an "Inside Out" Mask and has a hidden face on the inside. The Split face can represent being mixed race or having a discord between how I feel on the inside vs the outside, or it can represent a split personality.
Layered Masks: Through the use of layers, at times concealing and at other times exposing my face, my masks reflect the relationship between myself and my body, as well as between society and my experiences, and they also correlate to the complexity and layers of identity.
Self Portrait (Emerging)
Self Portrait (Birthing)
Self Portrait (Layers #5)
Self Portrait (Blossoming)
Self Portrait (Confined)
Self Portrait (Caged)
Self Portrait (Getting into Character)
Self Portrait (Unfolding)
Self Portrait with Onion Skin (Layered I
Self Portrait (Encased)
This mask Self-Portrait (Within) is a mix of mask sculpture and an Inside Out Mask. 2 masks were destroyed slightly and then combined with a hidden face revealed on the inside space of the masks.
Shift Masks: These masks either have the facial features misaligned on the face (shifted) or I've added extra features, or turned them upside down, etc. I love playing with the dynamic where the surface or the mask might not match the structure of the mask and how that can relate to our inner worlds not matching our outer persona.
Self Portrait (Shift #9)
Self Portrait (Shift #8)
Self Portrait (Split)
Self Portrait (Shift #3)
Self Portrait (Misaligned)
Self Portrait (Shift #2)
Self Portrait (3:4 Profile)
Self Portrait (Unfamiliar Eyes)
Self-Portrait (Shift #10)
Self Portrait (Woven #5)
Self Portrait (Shifted Profile)
Self Portrait (Shift #4)
Self Portrait (Twins)-Inspired by Motohi
Self Portrait (Shift #5)
Self Portrait (Shift #1)
Self Portrait (Woven #1)
Self Portrait (All Seeing)
Self-Portrait (Shift #11)
Self Portrait (Upside:Right Side)
Self Portrait (Shifted Profile Variation
Self Portrait (Double Mask)
Self Portrait (Outside/Inside) is another Mask Sculpture and Inside Out Mask. 2 masks and combined with Kanji written on the Inside and Outside of the mask, each with literal meanings. These 3 pictures show the same mask from 3 different angles.
Ripped masks: The collage technique used here involves ripping the photo paper rather than cutting it for a different look. Some of these masks are self-portraits from different ages (at 20, 30 and 40 years old) Masks that show the cracks in-between, I call Hapa, or half-Japanese masks.
Self Portrait (Age 20)
Self Portrait (Half Japanese)
Self Portrait (Age 30)
Self Portrait (Hapa #3)
Self Portrait (Age 40)
Self Portrait (Hapa #2)
Self Portrait (Peace) is an Inside Out Mask. On the inside space of the mask is an origami crane representing Peace. These 3 photos show the same mask from different angles.
These are masks inspired by different Japanese materials and artistic practises such as Rice paper, Calligraphy, Sashiko Stitching and Shibori.
Self Portrait (Aida:In Between)
Self Portrait (Motifs)
Self Portrait (Inside Out #1)
Self Portrait (Molting)
Self Portrait (Japanese Materials #4)
Self Portrait (Japanese Materials #2)
Self Portrait (Japanese materials #3)
Self Portrait in Kanji (Me:Kuchi)
Self Portrait (Stitched Shibori)
Self Portrait (Stitched)
Self Portrait (Kintsugi: Precious Scars)
Self Portrait (Shibori)
Self Portrait (Holding On)
Self Portrait (Japanese Materials #1)
Self Portrait in Blue is an Inside Out Mask and is comprised of rice paper dyed with indigo, Calligraphy Ink from my first Kanji lesson and a wire frame.
Wearable masks: these masks are all designed specifically for wearing. The other masks can be worn but are more ornamental and aren't equipped with an elastic and have a different shape.
Self-Portrait (Ripped Eyes)
Self-Portrait as a Geisha
Self-Portrait (Shift #7)
Self-Portrait (White Face #2)
Self Portriat (Feeling Discombobulated).
Self-Portrait (White Face #4)
Self Portrait (Half Mask #1)
Self Portrait as Robot Geisha #2 (Ghost
Self Portrait (Shift #6)
Self-Portrait (White Face #3)
Self-Portrait (No Face)
Self-Portrait (Covid Mask #2)
Self-Portrait (Black and White #1)- wear
Self-Portrait (Uncanny Valley #1)
Self-Portrait (Shift #8)
Self-Portrait (White Face #1)
Self Portrait (Woven #2)
Self-Portrait (Uncanny Valley #2)
Self-Portrait (Black and White #2)
Self-Portrait (Covid Mask #1)
This "Double Mask" features 2 faces based on Japanese puppetry- Bunraku. In particular, this mask is based on a transformational puppet that changes from a woman to a jealous demon.
AI Masks: These masks were made by importing over 100 of my masks into an AI program called Playform. It gave me variation upon variation and I selected a few of them to make into new 3D masks based on those images/combinations.
These masks are a great example of how 1 mask inspires the next. As I was thinking of new designs for my Self-Portrait Origami series (see here), I knew I had to do a Ninja Star since they were something my brothers made non-stop when we were growing up. After I made them as self-portraits I got the idea (in a dream actually) to have the throwing stars penetrate a mask, and then after I did that, it evolved into 'dripping' eyes and lips from the 'wounds' which later evolved into 'eyes as tears'.
These split half masks are some of my favourite pieces to work with. Originally I made them and was going to glue them together in different configurations but once I started wearing them as is, something really special occurred and I love that they can be layered and moved around to create new shapes, images and repeating patterns. Here I've included some photos of me wearing them just to show the dynamic range of them, but more can be seen in my "Wearing Masks" and "Performance" page. Be sure to scroll through to see the Mirrored Installation Piece with the half-masks too.