Art,  International Voices


My name is Matilda Tran & I’m a Vietnamese international student at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I’m a lover of art & I work in several mediums: photography—mostly experimental—, drawing, fabric/textile, and music. Photography is my main platform and I’m currently focusing on capturing/triggering the feeling of awkwardness and tension. “Censored” is a photography project I’ve been working on that explores my experience and observation of the suppression of women across the different cultures that I have been raised in, namely the American culture and Southeast Asian culture. I seek to use the different types of flowers to symbolize the expectations that surround girls as we grow up, and that are fed to us through all the traditions and stereotypes and through movies and social media. Through my photography, I seek to show how these aspects shape and suppress our own identities, self-trust, dreams, body image etc. Ironically, I myself used to photograph “feminine” girls with flowers and they were—and still are—some of my most well-liked pieces. I was recently looking back on my earlier works when I came across these flower/girl pieces and realized how my own view of myself and the world has been boxed in by the expectations of girls that have influenced me through social media and popular movies. That’s when I decided to speak up about these social standards through art in a project called “Censored”, and use the flowers themselves to imply the voice that is constantly drowning out my and other girl’s voices, ordering us to “act girly”, “talk sweet”, or “get a man”, or dictating us what to wear or to be ashamed of our own bodies. As a queer Asian girl—and now also a foreigner in America—I experience extra layers of oppression that come from heteronormativity, white supremacy and Westernization/after effects of Western colonization, on top of the oppression from my own culture in Vietnam. For me, this project is not only about exploring and expressing my voice through art; it also is a journey of self-discovery, as I struggle to think for myself and to find my voice both as an artist and as a human being. I am constantly changing to become the person in which I can believe in.

Hello! My name is Tyler Newman and I'm a magical creature.

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These photographs are really intresting!

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