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Art Archive - 2003

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Show Dates: 2003-11-01 - 2003-11-30
Title: Masks
Artist: B. Lin-I Yu
Mask n. 1. A covering for the face, especially one worn for disguise, a false face.

I have been doing papier-mâché masks for many years. It is an endeavor that I do for fun and entertainment, and to keep myself busy. I enjoy the craft of it, i.e. the process of molding the clay to form a face, casting in plaster-of-Paris, gluing the paper into the mold and then prying the paper mask out, (the fun part!), and finally painting it. All the materials are readily accessible and inexpensive. I found the pages of old telephone books the best paper for mask making; and in fact, many of my masks were painted with leftover house paint.. I am self-taught. I remember my first efforts were to grind newspaper in a blender to make a mash for forming a mask. It was a messy job and I wouldn’t recommend it.

It is fun to use one’s imagination to create a face. Sometimes I found that to make a face interesting I had to exaggerate a particular feature. Other times the way I painted it made it distinctive. Pictures of masks made by people from ancient cultures-- the Iroquois, Mayan, Inca, Mexican, African and Asian-inspired me. I became convinced that the mask-faces of the past were more interesting than the mask I was making up. I have taken the liberty to imitate aspects of some of these masks.

Three of the masks are made by my children: Kai, a video editor at John Roach Projects; Clarissa, a freshmen at East High School, mask titled “Miss Boca”; and Dayton, a 7th grader at O’Keefe Middle School.

We hope you enjoy the display.

B. Lin-I Yu
Kai Yu
Clarissa Yu
Dayton Yu

Note: Kai and Dayton have not yet titled their masks.

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