Chemical Properties of Matter
Inspired by the basic chemistry, this series explores the conflict between the self-perception and social ideals of beauty.
Chemical properties are characteristics that change the chemical identity of a matter. When used metaphorically, “a matter” is a human face and it’s “chemical properties” can be understood as it’s ability to change the physical appearance under different circumstances.
The makeup in this series creatively interprets some chemical reactions such as change of color, decomposition, corrosion and combustion. Metaphorically these “chemical reactions” represent the types of change happening when we use variety of makeup and beauty products. We do beauty routines in constant pursuit of elusive beauty and it influences the way we see, feel and percept ourselves. In such a manner this series celebrates and critiques contemporary obsession with changing and transforming our appearances. It explores the drama of transformation of internal and external identities.
Different people will decode the images differently according to their personal insights and experiences. As the author, I was particularly interested in exploring beauty issues related to black-skinned people opposed to the prevailing Eurocentric standards of beauty. This is why the final looks for the series were created in close collaboration with my outstanding South African creative team.