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Drawing
Kaya Long​
Parker School​|Waimea, Hawaii​
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Untitled|14.5 x 10.5 in. Idea(s): How can we truly find our authenticity within our identity amidst societal pressures?​ Material(s): Digital mixed media collage exploring the connection between how others see us and self-perception​.
Process(es): Cut-out/Layer/Combine to represent the dichotomy between the holes within our identity and labels.​
Curatorial Note: Strong image investigating identity.​
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“How deep does identity go? Do we need to cut out parts of ourselves to find it? How can we truly find our authenticity within our identity amidst societal pressures? We shape shift so much that it is difficult to identify and distinguish our true form. It fluctuates. As I cut out and pasted a variety of images together to create cohesive images, I realized that this process could be representative of the quest for identity itself.”​

Student
statement

This piece is titled An Adornment of Mirrors and Labels. It explores the concept of having a fragmented identity as one struggles to find their “true self” and the connection between how others see us and self-perception. It is a piece of my sustained investigation guided by the question of how deep does identity go? Do we need to cut out parts of ourselves to find our identity? How can we truly find our authenticity within our identity amidst the societal pressure to conform and assimilate? These are all questions I’ve pondered in my day-to-day life, and with each year that goes by, I have found that they have become increasingly relevant and pressing.
I practiced layering the collage in a way that upheld the pieced-together nature of the work while displaying how fragments of separate things can seamlessly coexist to make a whole even more beautiful than the sum of its parts. I experimented with opacity and the juxtaposition between clean-cut and softer lines. Later, I revised my portfolio to effectively weave the galaxy motif throughout the collection. This represents the empty space that is crucial for development, as you need to cut things out of your identity to allow them to take shape.
Digital collage proved to be the optimal material for exploring my inquiry, as it allowed me to literally cut out and paste a variety of images together to create the finished product. I realized more and more that this process perfectly represents the quest for identity itself. It is a continuous process with the goal of creating a whole that satisfies the individual, but inevitably, everyone will see something different. This led me to another question that I’ve been asking myself: Is self-acceptance alone enough?
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Kaya Long Headshot.JPG
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Kaya Long​

Teacher Statement

Kaya Long​
Kaya was incredibly fearless when it came to taking creative risks in her experimentation and revision process. Her compositional choices with materials and methods were concept-driven, and she worked with motifs and symbols that were integral to her inquiry. Kaya experimented with both additive and subtractive techniques to explore the depth of meaning - using visual metaphors and layering narrative concepts into the work to push the envelope. Kaya frequently had phenomenal completed works that she would return to in order to continue deconstructing and reconstructing her concepts and compositions to delve further into her inquiry in new and unexpected ways. She is truly a young artist who embodies critical thinking, innovation, and creative problem-solving in both the visual and written components of her work.
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Kaya Long​