Abel Tan

What am I?

Class of: 2024

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Sculpture (cardboard & paper)

Faculty: Carol Peligian

Prompt: "Create an object inspired by a culture (yours or one that interests you) that reflects time, purpose and bears witness to your own time and cultural experience."

My cultural object reflects the push and pulls I experience between the two cultures that I come from. I am Singaporean/Indonesian, yet I am considered none of them amongst locals because of my unique upbringing. Masks, or ‘topeng’ in Indonesian, are a massive part of Indonesian culture and serve many different purposes: decorative, religious, ceremonious, and much more. I rendered the look and aesthetic of a ‘topeng’ through a Singaporean filter where people are brought up to ‘  t into shapes.’ I broke down the mask into an amalgamation of platonic solids and inserted 2 images of myself within these shapes to represent the split between my two cultures, essentially creating a self-portrait.