Handcrafted cookies and the pleasures of sugar and love

From the exhibit Empowering Engaged Thinkers: Student Discovery Stories from the Hearst Museum

These cookie keepsakes made Andrew Sengkhamyong want to change the way the world thinks about labels and bias.

Andrew worked as a gallery guide in the exhibit “Pleasure, Poison, Prescription, Prayer: The Worlds of Mind-Altering Substances.” He is a member of the Class of 2021 with a major in Integrative Biology.

“This licitar was the first object that inspired me as a Hearst gallery guide and really paved the way towards a greater focus on self-introspection, micro-level interactions, and how our surrounding culture ascribes meaning.  I had always perceived a distinct line between food/ingredient and substance/drug.  Reflecting on these sweet cookies, made as keepsakes not to be eaten, challenged me to question my past mental framework.  When we use labels, we’re bestowing a personal belief, oftentimes reflecting the prejudices of our collective network; just as I had previously labeled sugar as a simple ingredient rather than a drug.  I’ve made use of what I’ve learned throughout my discussions and research as a gallery guide. “

“The Hearst offers a diverse and inclusive space for student discovery that can’t be found on other parts of campus.”

Croatian cookie (licitar)

7-5334, Circa 1967.