We Are What We Mask

Solo Exhibition
Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), Singapore
07/09/2014 - 09/10/2014

We Are What We Mask plays on the mask or topeng used in ritual mask dances in Bali and Java to endow the dancer with the spirit of what the mask represents (generally gods, demons and animals). Nugroho adopts the mask (full-face and sculpted from paper, in collaboration with the paper and print makers at STPI) to allow wearers to transcend their identities (be it gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or nationality) and subsequently to intervene in different social spaces and contexts in Singapore.

Nugroho’s masks draw from mask traditions beyond Indonesia, including the Mexican Lucha Libre, biohazard headgear and Islamic headdresses and veils. We Are What We Mask continues to hide identities behind masks or machine parts boldly patterned with traditional Indonesian art forms like batik and embroidery. Essentially, to challenge us to ‘think about what it means to be an individual’ and ‘what makes up our identities’. (Words by Seng Yu Jin)

Photo Courtesy of Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI)

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