What do you think of when you say mask? Generally, the word mask comes to mind first of the Venice mask festival. The largest and most famous festival in Italy and one of the top 10 festivals in the world, the Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is attended by people dressed in antique costumes and parades through the beautiful streets of Venice. If you look at the Venetian masks, they come in a variety of designs and shapes, and are so beautiful that they can be compared to works of art.
In other sense, it is speculated that the mask originated as a disguise for the purpose of getting close to animals in primitive hunting life. And to the mask for disguise, a shamanistic purpose was added to comfort the spirits of the animals caught or to take over the animal's power.
In Korea, a long time ago, the mask was called Tal. 'Tal' means a Korean mask that shows a unique facial expression of a person or animal since ancient times.
Masks are accepted into folk beliefs and have spiritual and shamanistic symbolism related to punishment and retribution. For this reason, it captivates the viewer with its unique form and intense color even from an aesthetic point of view.
In 'mask', not only can we get a glimpse of the Korean sentiment of 'sarcasm and humor', such as satirizing the false consciousness of Korea's yangban class, but we can also get a glimpse of the fact that there are various layers of culture in Korea.
I recently completed making a mask, one of the assignments of Professor Boggs's class during my master's course.
The reason I first talked about Venetian and Korean traditional masks in this post is contained in this golden mask. In other words, this mask is designed by mixing Eastern and Western masks. Unusually, many Western masks have pointed chins. Oriental masks are relatively round in shape. I took note of this point and shaped it into an oriental round face and decorated it in a Venetian, or European style.
And here's the mouth part removed. This is by design. I wore a mask for far too long during the pandemic. It's very sad that you can't see the expression because it's covered by a mask. So my mask rather exposed this mouth.
And the surface was covered with gold foil. This gold signifies mammonism.
Masked depression, that is, masked depression, can be said to be a state in which you have depressed feelings in your mind, but you do not feel the depressed feelings. And like a mask, depression grows hidden in our hearts.
Maybe modern people are hiding behind masks and crying quietly today, hiding their gloomy hearts in the splendid world of materialism.
In this gloomy age, wouldn't a more truthful world be created if we could live honestly by exposing our mouths like the exposed mouth? With this motif, I made a golden mask with an open mouth.
Myungja Anna Koh