This triptych is called What does being American mean? The first image is called “I am Black, I am me.” The second image is called “I am Mexican, I am me.” The third image is called “I am Chinese, I am me.” My work is about being culturally different, belonging neither here nor there. It’s an exploration of having unusual backgrounds and cultures living in America. It’s a statement about what it’s like to be different from everyone around you. I wish to question the social structures of categories and why we are forced to fall into racial categories. To shed a light on stereotypes and show the inaccuracies in them. I want to show that in the end we are all just humans.
This social construct overwhelms my tortured soul, 2016, Silver Gelatin Print
This social construct overwhelms my tortured soul. We live in a stigma, a stigma of innocence. For shame, for grace. Seductively innocent. The age of innocence is nothing but a game. We pride ourselves for living in a free world, when we, ourselves, our molding our youth with fear. We manipulate with fear, crafting robotic minds to continue the cycle of what we believe is humankind. We manifest fear to domesticate human beings into being our ideal models of life. Society works wonders into our minds, fabricating its own belief system into us, poisoning our minds with its own ideals, until we start to believe that its ethics are our own. Are your thoughts even yours? How did you come to believe in the morals you have now? Was it your thoughts or has society engraved its claws into your brain already? How do we teach our youth to be free from this curse, when we have been poisoned ourselves? Insecurity and self-doubt has slithered into our souls, until we are nothing but mindless rats running in a never escaping rat maze.