A Vociferous Silence

Jiyao Zhang

“A Vociferous Silence” is a series of reactive masks that attempt to address the complexity of one’s self-concept and self-appraisal by presenting multiple aspects of inner voices.


Visitors are invited to put their faces into the masks and cover their ears. A voice is heard through bone conduction activated by physical touch. What the user hears creates the illusion of having a voice in their head. The narration reveals different aspects of my own self-image. Each mask focuses on one of the following aspects: negativity, positivity, and uncertainty.

As our filters for Reality, how we see ourselves influence everything we do or say, everything we feel, or otherwise perceive. In a sense, one’s perception of others is a reflection of oneself.
Thus, I see “A Vociferous Silence” as a VR piece as well but a different kind of virtual, where the experiencer is forced to become another person by wearing a new face and listen to a new self-image.

I have two goals for this project. First, I want to discover the unknown me, with whom I barely communicate but am always influenced by: the hidden character behind the face in the mirror that thinks, dreams, talks, feels and believes. Second, I hope that other people who share similar experiences will come to know that they aren’t alone, and, I hope that will be comforting.