“GENDERLESS” is a series of self-portraits by Ayakamay, attempting to reveal complex relationships between her gender and herself by questioning social significance and cultural coding.
In this series of self portraits, Ayakamay portrays her initial concept of masculinity and femininity through the manipulation of her facial features.
While playing with the idea visually Ayakamay came upon the realization of her true intentions. Confronting each portrait, viewers will realize that all accounts differ.
The concept of masculinity and femininity of each individual is nurtured by environment and culture, thus making it so ambiguous.
The interactive performance that accompanies these portraits was experimental for Ayakamay.
In the center of the gallery her hair was tied into a web of red yarn extending throughout the space. The yarn web called for an intimate interaction with Ayakamay, who sat patiently dressed in a traditional kimono waiting on a shrine like pedestal with scissors and a buzzer. Hair for Ayakamay interferes tremendously with people’s conception of gender, thus she allowed the audience to cut it all off. The shaving of her hair released her from gender and provided an emotional and compassionate experience between Ayakamay and the participants.
Observing tangible portraits titled GENDERLESS, you will feel a sense of GENDERLESS, the third gender. The performance consequently frees the audience from their concept of masculinity and femininity.
is in the Leslie Lohman Museum collection