In my studio, I asked my fellow art friends and colleagues to write down a confession or secret that they never talk about…”Not a secret as much as it is something YOU just prefer to omit from 99% of your conversation”. People self-censoring themselves for power, security, or convenience; editing their daily interactions and communications in order to preserve a personal identity that may not align with desires or realities of their current or past lives. In anonymously writing these confessions they are momentarily bridging the gap between who they are and who they express themselves to be, and yet since it is anonymous not even I know to whom each confession belongs. I edited each portrait and placed it in a grid alphabetically, and likewise constructed a grid with the secrets. However each message is not in order or connected in placement on the grid with the faces. They are RANDOMLY placed together as drawn from the box. They can be moved and paired as you like...I chose a grid so that each face could be seen, and each secret read, in unison. The choice to wear a pollution mask from my recent trip to Vietnam, (while serving as both a comment on our social and natural environment, and a metaphor for self-censorship), it is also intended to focus the viewer’s attention on the artists' eyes, which I believe are the most honest part of the body, at once observing and transmitting in physical response their neurological impressions of a space, conversation or human interaction. This is as much a part of my conversation between the artists and me, as it is a conversation for the artist with themselves, their personal identities, and their pasts. Each participant had the choice to write or type their responses, and to say whatever they liked though I directed them to be honest and straightforward (one chose to type, another chose to use a metaphor in place of a direct statement); and wear whatever they liked, apart from choosing one of my masks from Vietnam (two people wore sunglasses, and also were self-declared "the most secretive" people involved). This is an ongoing project.
Participating artists (L to R, ↑ to ↓): Alexis, Amber, Andreanne, Bharat, Brittany, Clea, Heather, Javier, Kevn, Keyu, Marie, Marshall, Meredith, Naaman, Nando, Ouater, Pabi, Samira, Sharon, Shay, Thomas, Ting, Tom, Toni, Xiatong.