The mask

We judge our own appearances all the time. Sometimes gently, sometimes harshly.

With our faces, regardless of how we look, we never feel perfectly satisfied, we never feel perfect.

That is why we mask ourselves.

And it is this mask that we use to present ourselves to others.

My photography tries to take off that mask because my sense is that the mask is...ugly.

It is ugly not because it lacks symmetry or the features are disproportionate, but because it is superficial and unnatural.

And worse, I think that mask devalues the person, oversimplifies the complexity of the person, who has most likely gone through all the ups and downs of life: immense joy, profound sadness, probably loneliness, definitely some struggles, but more importantly, also the profound effects of love, or the lack thereof.

A face without a mask is infinitely more interesting, more real, and in my opinion the better face.

But we all have masks.

And I don’t really know how to take that mask off because it’s not real to begin with. It is an imaginary idea, and I can only imagine myself peeling it off so I can photograph the real person underneath. Whether I succeed, only the subject of my photography knows. But I keep trying. 

The photographer

A graduate of New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) based in Kuala Lumpur.

Mooreyameen was born in Kuching, Sarawak in 1974. He graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, UK as a Shell scholar. Worked for Shell, BFM radio station, Petronas and Petra Group. Currently, working as Sustainability Manager for Heng Hiap Industries. 

Exhibitions

Solo exhibition: "60x60" at RUANG by ThinkCity, Kuala Lumpur, September 2017

Solo exhibition: "Stripes and strokes" at Georgetown Festival, Penang, August 2018

Using Format