April Seo

natural beauty

Class of: 2026

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Multimedia

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: In this project, students are tasked with developing a 3D “hybrid mask” inspired by elements of an ancient culture, principles of beauty, and personal interpretation of its usage in the current time.

The goal of this project was to create a mask or a covering that relates to ancient culture and beauty. As I am from South Korea, I explored beauty in traditional Korean paintings as well as current beauty standards. I wanted to incorporate aspects of ancient paintings to emphasize natural beauty. Emphasizing the power and beauty of the rolling mountains is a key feature in many traditional Korean paintings so I added details that resembled rolling mountains as well as trees. When seen from the side, the mask looks like a scene in the paintings—a feature I wanted to incorporate as a little Easter egg. I took photos of my friend wearing the mask. I purposely asked my high school friend who grew up in the same neighborhood as I did in Korea as this was a reflection of my personal experience in Korea. We traveled to Koreatown. The first photo was taken at the Hmart in Koreatown and the second one was taken right outside, on the streets. This mask can be worn in two different ways: on the face and the head. When worn on the face, it represents my struggle to see the beauty in the natural self so I am almost trapped within the frames of the mask. All I need to do is look through the mask and see the natural beauty. When worn on the head, it represents the overcoming of personal struggles.