Emoji has became the body language and social expression of modern society, while people use them a lot during texting or even writing, it is more than just a sign, It is a reflection of our social world, and it has multiple meanings. By looking at emojis, I’m seeing a lot of changes of our society.
Such as the recent update that happened months ago, Apple has added 5 different skin colors of each people’s face, and they added more variation of family rather than just female, male and kid. before that, a large amount of people were complaining about the minimum diversity these emojis have, so that’s why Apple made the changes, but this is only the beginning of the problems. Now when you choose this little face, you have to consider about your own identity, and the identity of that person who you are texting, if that person is Asian, and you use the very yellow Simpsons-like emoji, is that offensive? Similar concerns goes to many other situations, now these emojis became more that just cute, they became somehow political.
I worked with nude models to recreate some of the emojis, they were nude because I don’t want them to have any identity other than their races, they represents human. Except for their skin colors, their only identity comes from the emojis that are replacing their head. Does those stickers tells who they are? does it make it racism if you put a black emoji on a caucasian’s head? And why is that in the emoji, family could only be formed in the same race, why can’t there be a African American and Asian family?
People need to realized the variations and diversity of human society, our developments are far beyond, and can’t be represented by these little emojis. They were created for fun expressions, but right now it has too many meanings that we can’t understand. By just the simple action of choosing a skin color, it is categorizing people, and making us questioning our identities. My work is a ironic approach of all my concerns for the emoji issues.
Old Car City, Atlanta, Georgia.
3 weeks of volunteer trip at a orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia.