Jenn - Einstein Medical School, Bronx, New York

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the dragon here and the Phoenix here. I worked really hard on trying to make it look 3-D, but I made them the first thing you notice because their symbols for China. The dragon and the Phoenix are usually always drawn together, and they represent both the Chinese people and the Chinese culture. And I made that primarily because when you look at my face, the first thing you see is that I am of Chinese descent. My parents are both Chinese; my relatives are all in China.

But then I took a sponge, and I mixed red and white and blue, which are the colors of the American flag, and I blended them all into the background because I grew up in New York. And growing up in New York in speaking English and having friends are not just Chinese, but also you know, Japanese, Spanish, Romanian. When you have all different friends from all different cultures, it’s easy to finally blend and make a multicultural community. And so that shows more in my mannerisms where I dress very American, I speak with an American accent, I have facial expressions, I smile widely like an American. So, that’s all the background which you might not see on a surface look.

And then once I drew my lips in, I realized how much they stood out, and it’s funny because my lips aren’t very Chinese at all. So, when I drew these in, they suddenly made this so prominent phoenix and dragon kinda like melt a little more into the background. And that was nice because that was just me. But I what I really wanted to focus on was that in the end, even though it’s of my face and has so many of these aspects, it’s still just a mask and there’s so much more that is not simply shown on a face.

So, I wanted to keep this simple so that you can know that there’s still when you lift the mask, there’s someone else underneath. Yeah, so, that’s my mask.