Pono Skousen

Dragon Boy

Class of: 2025

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Wire Sculpture

Faculty: Aviva Maya Shulem

Prompt: In this project, students were 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. Projects were to only be made out of linear materials, such as wire.

Growing up half-White and half-Asian, culture has always played a unique role in my life. This project allowed me to reflect on my individual identity and how I fit into both of these different cultures. This mask takes elements of the traditional Japanese amigasa hat, which is used to purposefully constrain the view of the wearer. However, I decided to make it out of wire, as a way to feel as though you are in a cage, viewing the world from an inside perspective. In Japanese culture, honor and respect are of utmost importance, and to stare is extremely rude. This mask plays on that concept of focusing forward, without “staring” and judging others. Throughout the piece, red flames and hiragana characters hint at the struggle between culture and identity, two subjects I came to analyze more through this project.