Decoding Masculinity: How do you define Masculinity?

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



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

Within the first part of the series we asked both students from Camberwell College UAL

Zhuang Wu from Graphics and Cecilia Dumont from Photography How do they define Masculinity?


SON: How do you define Masculinity?

Zhuang Wu: No fear to express himself no bias to face the new and different things objectively, not afraid to deal with difficulties you meet in life.


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

Zhuang Wu:  Drag queen is a special group and is colorful, vivid and BRAVE. Some of them are a good example of the  un-traditional conception of ‘Masculinity’.


SON: How do you define Masculinity?

Cecilia Dumont: A creation originally defined and determined by the state, empowering those with the control initially white men who implemented these constructs. Today it has branched out in society to form different archetypes which still follow the same formula.  

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

Cecilia Dumont: More specifically it is determined to define certain social constructs and constraints within the creative industry and realm.
Through my own experience in artistic education, I would say there are still
pre-determined notions tied to certain artistic practices.
Photography-under assumption can be seen as an area which engages male interest and painting as a more feminine way to express. Luckily these pre-conceived notions are under constant scrutiny when you are studying art.

Masculine sectors within artistic industries always seem to be the world of Advertising, Marketing and Graphic design, specifically acquiring the archetype of the white British 20-something hetero creative male.


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

Cecilia Dumont: The less we define and categorise practices and fields of work, the more interdisciplinary, less time for labelling and just doing! A space for masculine dialogue needs to be established and welcomed. Let’s start with the root of patriarchy by teaching and listening to men. And the young men who feel emasculated by being self-expressive.

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

Cecilia Dumont: A visual commentary into the fragility of 21 cent. masculinity. It seeks to spectate upon the spectator. Inverting the male gaze into gazing upon the male.