During the winter session and spring sessions of 2014, YouthCAN worked with mentor artist Kathy Liao. The students dived into and explored their outer and hidden identities by making masks, drawing inspirations from their own personal stories. They also made a huge mural piece (it was not displayed in the exhibit.)
(Yulong Tan, Aser Agustin, Brandon Chen, Jonathan Cortes, Peter Hou, Ashley Kwan, Minh Nguyen, Jennifer Chen, and Brian Luong)
These identities are more than what meets the eye. The project began with the construction of paper mache masks, which provided a blank canvas for the youth to express their funky and wild side that they would not have otherwise presented in their daily lives. While making the masks, the youth kept in mind their idols and who they are in the greater society. Their idols inspired them to create and mold the masked persona.
After the masks were made, YouthCAN did a photoshoot wearing their masks, experiencing and interacting with their surrounding with the new persona. Reflecting from the experience, the students then painted self-portraits. This session was an opportunity for the youth to explore their inner selves without the judgment of the current critical society.
(Jennifer Chen and Minh Nguyen)
(Mural made by YouthCAN)