Age Conscious: The Culture of Faces

In this body of work, I had the elderly sit for live portraits. As they are said to have wisdom and great understanding, I thus thought they would have a deeper understanding of themselves. Via this exploration, I have found that the elderly are still discovering their identity. I am interested in illustrating how one’s identity is a not a fixed image or idea, but it is rather a collage of moments experienced by an individual.

Faces therefore, appear to be collected visible evidence suggesting invisible events. The mark making highlights physical features which are said to classify one’s racial identity. My experience is that drawing the sitter almost always modifies my original assumptions about them. My focus is on how a person’s identity is often narrowly defined by certain political systems and instruments of the state, such as racial classification and identity documents.

Identity is not a static condition defined by cultural or political symbols, but may alternatively be defined as a sequence of moments specific to an individual’s state and perception of themselves. This further suggests that the notion of identity is an idea that one cannot at any given time be disassociated with. Therefore identity is often also a physical mask the body wears that reflects the current state of self.