People everywhere are wearing masks nowadays. Fittingly, an exhibit a museum near the Black Sea called the Baksi Museum is portraying different interpretations of the “face mask.” This museum is located in Bayraktar Village, which was formerly called Baksı. The translation of the word Baksı is “healer,” “helper,” or “guardian.” In Kyrgz Turkish, the meaning of Baksı is “Shaman.” It is speculated that up until recently the village had ties with Shamanic traditions.
Portraying masks as both an instrument and a concept, 20 artists, including Alp İşmen, Aykut Erol and Beyza Boynudelik, have contributed to this exhibit. The exhibit can be found online on the museum website until May 21, 2021.
“Childhood in the Fan” created by Simay Nightingale depicts a child wearing a mask made out of Lego pieces. The focus of childhood has shifted from toys to masks and staying indoors rather than going outside, which is why the child’s face is painted on plexiglass.
One artist, Enis Karavil, in his mask design titled “2020,313” integrates technology into his mask design. It combines the concept of past and future; the mask wearer is portrayed wearing an older style of clothing, and the Apple Watch worn on his mask, new. Additionally, Apple’s voice system means that whatever the person wearing the mask says is instantly displayed on the screen in text form.
The committee of artists stated: “Today, the mask is on the agenda more than ever before, it is in our daily life…. We try to communicate behind our masks. Masked speeches, masked meetings, masked farewells are now at the center of our lives.
That is why we wanted the mask to be dimensioned as a concept at the same time and to be the subject of creative action with its associations in artists and designers.”