Decoding Masculinity: How do you define Masculinity? Part 2

In the run up to the Decoding Masculinity: A conversation on Race Religion & Masculinity event.

Shades of Noir asked students from UAL-wide their opinions on Masculinity and about their work in relation to the topic.

Within the second part of the series we asked both students Siqing Zhang from BA Painting at Wimbledon & Michael S Bryan from MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins How do they define Masculinity?

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SON: How do you define Masculinity?

Michael S Bryan: Black masculinity is a sense of knowing I have the power to create anything at will, and it is supported by actions the black male takes. It’s a refusal to let outside circumstances diminish the self-worth of the back male, and to recognise the role of the black male is individual self-determination

SON: What ‘constructs’ do you feel add value or demonise masculinity in the creative sectors?

Michael S Bryan: In my experience, the total censuring of a live performance demonised my very body

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SON: How do you think these ‘constructs’ will change over time?

Michael S Bryan: They won’t. Quite simply.

SON: How does your work add to the narrative of Masculinity?

Michael S Bryan: I produce photographs and was a performance artist that challenged audiences with the sight of a live black body.

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SON: How do you define Masculinity?

Siqing Zhang: Masculinity, for me, seems to be defined as the characteristics of patriarchy. It involves leadership, aggression, bravery and the responsibility to the whole family. Unlike some masculine feature on the supercritical looks, I would decode it chiefly through the inner quality.

SON: What ‘constructs’ do you feel add value or demonise masculinity in the creative sectors?

Siqing Zhang: In creative fields, I suppose to situate the main construction of masculinity in Greek sculpture. This represents the superiority and civic authority on male body and builds up an ideal standard for later generations throughout a very long time of the whole history.
On the other hand, one of the important events which has demonised masculinity is misogynism. It refers to the hatred of female nature, especially linked to witchcraft and nude. This grossly exaggerated the masculine power to an obscene and sexually discriminated level.

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SON: How do you think these ‘constructs’ will change over time?

Siqing Zhang: I tend to envisage these structures in a sanguine way. I believe it will be more and more equal for all genders in various sectors of social activities in the future. However, the division of genders will be prone to cyclically present. People of different genders will be able to clearly identify themselves with the enlightenment of some pioneers in the art field.

SON: How does your work add to the narrative of Masculinity?

Siqing Zhang: This piece of my work presents the multifaceted feature of Masculinity. As a lover, a male might dance with the snake, which connotes female in metaphor; at the same time, he should protect the whole family as a warrior when the danger is coming. However, between the most romantic factor and the most masculine one, it is possible for them to be the danger itself. This means masculinity is a moveable quality, also, the definition of masculinity is changeable as well.