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Couples come together in all different kinds of ways. Some of us are set up through friends or family. Others bump into each other as strangers and launch into fantastic conversation. Some others go online. With others, it’s through a shared activity, whether it be regular like school or the workplace, or not so regular, but beloved like a hobby. And with still others, we meet as friends, become best friends, and then take a leap of faith–or gamble–and try being lovers.

Here are a few stories of the couples around us at MICA. Happy Valentine’s Day.

featured couples' portraits

Sarah & Minku; Kyle & Flora; Colleen & Vance; John & Ellice

Painting, First(s)
Kyle & Flora

Kyle Says…
It was my freshman year at MICA. Flora was a sophomore, but I took sophomore painting the spring of my freshman year, so we were in the same class. But the sophomore painting class was divided into different sections and with different teachers, so we didn’t talk to each other. We both went on MICA Bus Trip to New York in the spring and got to know each other. At the end of the trip, we exchanged numbers. We were casually acquainted for a year. The next semester, fall of my sophomore year, I took the Exhibition Development Seminar and saw that Flora was in the class as well. I sat next to her because I didn’t know anybody else. We were also in Color Abstraction  together. In the Exhibition Development Seminar, the class is divided into teams. Flora and I decided to join the Education team, and we worked together the whole semester organizing all the public programming for the Laure Drogul Exhibition. Through this process, we got closer and started to hang out more. By the spring, we went to parties and picnics together and started dating  after spring break (March 21, 2009). We’ve been dating for nearly a year now and its been going pretty great.

Flora Says… Kyle is basically my “first everything”. He is my first real boyfriend (the last Boyfriend I had was in middle school, and I don’t really count that anymore because we were too young to know anything.) He is my first who took me out for romantic dinners, he is my first to surprise me with flowers randomly, he is my first guy to make me a birthday card (I always make birthday cards for my friends and family but I never receive a handmade card back), he is my first romantic date at the beach, he is my first sand digging partner, he is my first to make a trip to the Baltimore Book Festival–a memorable night, he is my first doctor who treated me with warm blankets and tea when we were both sick, he is my first experience of flying to another state to meet his family and relatives, he is my first to rush down to the harbor with to watch the sunset and then missing it and getting ice cream instead, he is my first to walk in a snow storm with at 3 am and running and giggling around with our arms spread out in the snow and he is the first person I wake up to when I sleep over at his place, and lastly he is my first compassionate lover. As much as all of these things sound corny and sappy they are all memories that I cherish and are things that remind me of how much he means to me and how much he is a great part of me and my life.

A Wrinkle On-Line Sows Seed
John & Ellice

Ellice Says…

Meeting John wasn’t anything extraordinary, yet he was my breath of fresh air as he whisked me off my feet. I thought I was meeting someone to figure out the identity of a stranger who friended me on facebook, but we ended up talking for 10.5 hours straight. The backdrop to this scenario? I was in the middle of cleaning up the mess of an LDR (long distance relationship), finding my own place in a new church-home, and saying “yes” to the sudden opportunities handed to me. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but an escape. I wasn’t looking for romance, I was looking for love. I wasn’t looking for a significant other, but a trustworthy friend. John told me later that he fell in love with me the first night we met, but it wasn’t that way for me. He filled each need I had at the time, and became my best friend. Then he went a little beyond and demonstrated his natural ability and desire to be more than that for me, and I fell in love. Becoming a couple was an adventure. I rejected him countless times. But all the while, I told my parents early on that “I met this guy, he’s really sweet and his family’s like our family,” bla bla bla. Considering they raised me talking about my future married identity for as long as I can remember, they were naturally very excited. Six months later, he came to visit my family. It was the first time I talked about a guy or brought one home for inspection. My parents got cold feet, then ice cold before going lukewarm. It’s as though they were playing the part I played for the past six months. Even though I was ready to stop meeting him casually and become a couple. Another eight months later and my parents are learning to walk through the rite of passage of recognizing that their 21-year-old daughter is timely with her dating and not premature. At the same time, I’m learning to balance who I am in this relationship with who John is, how we grew up–and taking the best of the lessons but leaving the not-so-good, and also learning to maintain a balance of who we are as a couple in relation to others who may or may not be couples, and may or may not be young adults. We’re also developping spiritual and faithful awareness as a couple, not only as individuals. In learning, I find myself falling in love over and over again. And John, he just tells me he falls deeper in love.

John Says…

^^ What she said.

Although I love Ellice to death, she can be MAJOR pain in the butt. Sometimes…
No, most of the time.

John, who runs and ducks for cover.

Harmonious Connections
Colleen & Vance

Colleen Says…

My boyfriend Vance and I have been high school sweethearts for about 2 years now. In the beginning, the first sparks of our friendship started out with our intimate connections to music. Sharing interests in music that were filled with lively energy and emotional resonance inspirited our hearts. Our love for various rhythmic melodies with poetic verses in music later lead to more interpersonal, heart-to-heart chats about other captivating moments in our lives. He is genuine, compassionate, energetic, and open-minded unlike any other person I’ve ever known. Eventually, as our personalities intertwined, the sparks of our friendship ignited into a fire of passion after realizing just how special we are to each other. On January 5, 2008 we made our relationship official after having a perfect night skating at Iceworld. Throughout these last few months, we’ve spent some of the best moments we’ve ever had in our lives together. There have been a few challenges along our path but we have overcome our weaknesses together to become even stronger today.
I guess we’ve proven to others that traditional morals and values have changed nowadays. Our interracial relationship shows our open-mindedness and high social tolerance for people of all cultures. It shouldn’t matter what color your skin is, but the colorful personality in your heart is what matters the most. The colors in his heart have inspired and painted one of the most beautiful and memorable pictures of my life.

Vance Says…

Since the day I met Colleen, I never would have thought that I would be in such a heartfelt relationship. We met in our school bus and started to become close during my junior year of high school. We shared our thoughts on music and she introduced me to tennis. Colleen then invited me to her 17th birthday party where we made an even deeper connection. After exchanging contact information, we then shared personal feelings over instant messenger. We officially became a couple on January 5th after our first date at Iceworld. Like any normal relationship we have had our ups and downs, but we did not let that break us. We have used these setbacks to make our relationship even stronger. Colleen and I are a very passionate interracial couple and someday we want to have pretty blasian babies. I do not think our different races have affected our relationship. Colleen has been a great influence in my life and I love her very much. This is just the beginning of our wonderful relationship.

Melodious Romance
Minku & Sarah

Minku Says…

This is a brief summary of what happened between us.
We first met fall of freshmen year in the piano room. Sarah was playing a song by Eric Satie which I had just been listening to on a cd and I was in the laundry room where I could hear the piano. I went to the piano room saying , “Eric Satie!” which shocked her. She stopped playing and turned to see who was barging in. We introduced ourselves and for the rest of the semester would occasionally play piano together but nothing else. Second semester we talked more and eventually went to a jazz concert together, again bonding through music. We ended going to the Jazz formal together and that got both of us out of our shells enough to realize we wanted a deeper relationship. Since then we have become extremely close and are rarely apart from each other.
Even though we come from different places we have a similar desire for ethnic and delicious food, good music, playing piano, teaching each other our languages, painting.

A side note from Sarah

I have always been fascinated with other cultures so the fact that Minku is initially from a different place is very exciting for me. I am trying to learn Korean with great help from his mom as well as himself. I loved learning to use chopsticks and eating sushi. The language barrier is sometimes confusing but often just very funny and not harmful. The funniest would probably be when he said, “what a lovely bitch” when he really meant, “what a lovely beach” 🙂

We have both spent time with each others family in New Mexico and New York so we have a greater understanding of where we each come from. It was great for me when I went to NYC with Minku because he is such a ‘big city’ person and was confident to show me around the chaos of the city. In reverse he loved going hiking with me in New Mexico and seeing a way of living very different from the city.
Our year anniversary is in March and we are both very happy to celebrate the past wonderful year together.
Stories Collected & 1 Written by Ellice Park
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“English Only” is a political movement aimed at establishing English as the only permissible language allowed in use of all government legislation, communications, forms, and actions.  The movement’s overarching goal is to set English as the United State’s official language, not necessarily eliminating the use of “foreign” languages but definitely undermining them.

The most recent event related to English Only took place in Nashville, Tennessee.  The amendment put forward by English Only advocates was voted against on January 22nd, 2009. Fortunately, the proposal was denied.  The proposed charter amendment 1 and 2 basically read: no person shall have a right to government services in any other language other than English. Over 40,000 voters were against ratification of the amendment while about 30,000 voters were for the amendment.

I am particularly bias against this event because it greatly affects me as an immigrant who is still making a place for myself in the United States. When I first got off the flight at Dulles Airport from Korea six years ago, I felt like I needed to change my clothes, not because they were dirty or anything but because I felt like I needed to prepare in becoming a new person. The flight was thirteen hours long, I was tired but pleased to feel a sense of nostalgia of the only other trip I made to America eleven years ago.  Of course that time I came as a tourist visiting family, this time I came as an immigrant.  There was a strange intermingling of the tasty, buttery sensation of America I remembered feeling as ten-year-old girl and the new anxiety and gathering of strength I was feeling as an immigrant.  When I landed at J.F.K airport back in the summer of 1992, I saw popcorn and delighted in its smell.  Eleven years later at Dulles, I could smell the popcorn again.  I knew things were completely different now, to start off with I was in an entirely different airport. Yet I kept going back to the same feelings I felt as a kid, as a tourist, full of giddy delusions of America.  It wasn’t until I remember that I wasn’t going back that it hit me. I booked a one-way ticket, not round-trip that summer in 2003.

Six years later, I became a naturalized citizen of the United States.  I pledged an oath of allegiance and denounced any loyalties to South Korea. I had a new motherland now. For the ceremony, speaking the oath of allegiance in English was worthwhile. It bound me with the other naturalizing citizens in the ceremony with me. But I knew that these English words were probably just as hollow, if not more, to many of these new citizens.  If there was any real oath to be pledged, it would be said in our mother tongues.  Even though the English Only proposition is limited to the communications and actions of government, it sounds, to me, like the first comers bossing around new comers. Learn or Leave despite the nature of the United States, the diversity, which should be celebrated not delineated. The citizens of the United States are all from different countries and should be respectful for the freedom being sought for by all who come.

If advocators for the English Only movement are concerned with immigrants adopting English and assimilating then they should advocate further support for government interpreters and foreign language programs because being in the dark helps no one.  If being able to communicate is the issue then the communication must come from both sides.  One can’t be expected to understand if no one, especially the government, doesn’t lend a helping hand.  Immigrants know more than enough about the saying “When in Rome do as Romans do”. We all know that English is the assumed “official” language of the United States. But this doesn’t need to be enforced and shoved in people’s faces, if it’s going to be English Anything than how about English First.

Immigrants always make the present progressive. They are learning English from the past to the future constantly with willingness and desire to settle down in this country and being hopeful for a better life.  Assimilation is a process. As each generation makes the progress, it will be naturally resolved into a new society. No law can speed it up. Lawful enforcement is merely imposing an artificial language barrier. It rather causes helpless immigrants and incurs marginalized immigrants coming from non-English speaking countries. Speaking English shouldn’t be a privilege or a struggle or a prerequisite or a burden.  It shouldn’t be a statement like “Learn or Leave.”  It’s a process of patience.  Children of immigrants clearly pick up English perfectly without their parent’s language being beaten out of them.  To many of us, ABC is not as easy as one, two, three.  Those of use who have the privilege of speaking English shouldn’t expect it to come so quickly to others, and we most definitely shouldn’t expect others to just drop their first-language just because “In America we speak American.”  Language is a huge part of our identities, and foreign languages should be shared as gifts, like wise, English should be shared not enforced.

Jae Lee, MICA BFA ’09

“This is natural enough, as the picture lives only through the man who is looking at it.” This is a quote from Pablo Picasso who created a revolution to the world. He may be inspirational but more importantly he is my mentor. When I was raised in S. Korea, many people criticized Picasso for his overrated artist who created works of art which anyone possibly could create. It was hard to believe Picasso’s essence of art because people rather visualize his work than picturing the idea behind it. By profoundly studying his experiences, paintings, and philosophy, he allowed me to open my visionary mind of art which helped me to escape from my restricted cultural background.
Before I discuss about my cultural identity, I want to share my personal meaning of art. I believe the essence and the definition of art is “emotion.” In our today’s perspective of art, everything we see today such as nature, buildings, clothes, and even a piece of an empty water bottle is defined as art. This is due to the affection of the emotion. Emotion causes a physical object to become a subjective idea. Without the emotion, an object such as an empty water bottle is what it is. The water bottle can be defined as a thin layer of plastic material usually formed in cylinder shape. If the emotion invades the logic, it can be defined as soulless that have lost hope in its existence. The subjective meaning can vary by persons by their emotion and causes diverse aesthetic tastes. By their nature of emotion, people choose their personal path which can lead to many different lives. This obviously happens when creating a piece of work. Their decisions to plan and make is the cause of emotion and the outcome of the work is the outcome of the emotion. When the viewer reads the painting,  it triggers the emotion to react in personal ways. The emotion paints the visualization and the visualization paints the emotion. The work of art is not only viewed as the degree of technique but also as an emotional response. However the view of technique can be affected by the emotion but the purpose of work of art is how the viewer’s emotion responds to artist’s emotion that is hidden behind the work. This is my purpose of art. A work of art lives only through the viewer and every life and objects is made to that purpose. People who create works of art do not define them as an only artist but anyone being able to personally interpret the work of art defines them as an artist. Many students in S. Korea have well-built techniques, but lack in ideal and personal interpretation of art. This is one of the problems my culture is facing and this will continue on for future generations due to their strict mind set as well as the fixed art system in S. Korean Art community. These students are potential and ambitious but did not acknowledge to understand the hidden world of art. They considered “excellent techniques” as “good art” and it is true for every artist to consider. However innovations and revolutions does not come from technical elements, but from extensive explorations. Picasso was an excellent technical artist, but his success came from his ideal vision. He traveled beyond the boundaries of visual restrictions and found the treasures of new ideas that have opened up the new visions to the world. This is the element my culture has forgotten and people from all over the world including, Artists, professors, students are traveling to S. Korea and other foreign countries to take action against this problematic condition. This is one of the valuable understanding every artist should be aware of and should take action toward their culture. I as an MICA student, as well as an important individual Artist, will take this opportunity as a chance to bring new idea of art to S. Korea, including countries where they lack the appreciation of true nature of art. Picasso was successful because he has worked toward the subjective idea and his task of bringing new idea to the world. Before you wonder off, ask yourself, what is “your” definition of Art?

by Albert Young-Chan Kim

1st Year Undergraduate at Maryland Institute College of Art

Student Artist and Microcosm member

Ever since I immigrated to America in the year 2000, I have celebrated Korean thanksgiving with my family annually. We would have most of our families gathered at our house, eating Songpyeon (rice cake with different kinds of sweet fillings that is steamed on pine needles), fish, Ttuk (rice cake), japchae (noodles), etc. At the end of the day, we would have a bow ritual to our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, to show gratefulness and appreciation for all of their hard work. In return, us children would get little sums of money.

When I first entered elementary school in 2001, I remember the school teaching me about American Thanksgiving. Knowing very little English, I couldn’t grasp the concept right away. It just fascinated me because the school was covered with pictures of turkeys, pumpkins, and orange decorations. I went back home to my mother asking her, “What is thanksgiving?” She answered, “It’s just like Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).” Historically, Chuseok is thought to be originated 2000 years ago where Sila King, Euri, organized a weaving contest to help the weaving industry grow. The losers of the contests had to prepare foods for the winners. As the time went on, Chuseok came in to shape where Koreans celebrated for 3 days long. Family gathering became very important in Chuseok. As I got older and started to attend middle school, the American thanksgiving became clearer.

It was interesting to see that during one thanksgiving, my mother actually adopted the idea of cooking a Turkey during with the traditional Korean thanksgiving meal. I have no idea if that was because she thought I became more “American” or if she wanted to combine the two cultures together, trying to teach me how to be a Korean and an American.

However, now that I came to MICA, I was celebrating only the American thanksgiving. It was awkward. Turkey, mash potatoes and gravy–foods that I felt unfamiliar with for a thanksgiving dinner. This shift of culture sort of confused me. Living half of my life in both countries, there was no clear identity that I fit in. When I was with my family, I celebrated Korean thanksgiving.  When I was with my friends, I celebrated American Thanksgiving. Now being away from home for the past two thanksgivings, it would be very awkward to go back home and celebrate the traditional thanksgiving. Somehow the turning over of a leaf has evolved into a large change.

Nevertheless, the confusion clarified as I turned 20 this year. I have concluded that it is not important which tradition I celebrate, as long as I remember my Korean origin, and appreciate both cultures. Even though food, customs, traditions, and origination were different, I think the thanksgiving in both cultures shared a common concept of gratefulness. Both countries brings families and communities together to prepare and share delicious food, honor their ancestors/respective deities and appreciate all of the family members for being one another’s their daily lives.

by Angela Ahn,

Korean-American,

MICA BFA Candidate 2012

self and other,
a normality identified up
so high and lofty

self and other,
start in a stomach,
end on dirt

every day, lay
horizontal to
then perpendicular

like a phallus
powerful but goes weak
in the sight of another too bold

love so strong,
tolerance so weak,
oh, celebrated tolerance

where’s the love?
at least respect-
can we have both — chacha?

by Ellice Park

IMG_0031

Danny Knox’s Creation Myth of Peni, in Progress:

“The Peni were once omnipotent beings with the power to create and destroy. Of all their creations they loved Poof most. They created Poof from 3 simple components; they were glitter, love, and the pieces of the earth. Poof was frozen much like a sculpture and unable to move or communicate. It was most important that Poof had emotions and he could feel. The Peni in order to be able to coexist with Poof, gave their powers of creation to the earth of which Poof was created. As a show of gratitude Poof cares for the Peni, who created him and sacrificed themselves for his life….”

I am taking Toys class in this semester, and I learn about the background and issues of toys in America. I questioned how people who have Asian background thinks about toys. So, I interview two friends who are 5 years older than me. Seok Han grew up most of his life in Korea and came to MICA as a graduate student last year. Andrew Kim immigrated to US when he was young. Even though they are in same age and generation, they had different interest on toy.

by David Woo

Andrew Kim
Born in 1981
Male

kim1

What was your favorite toy when you grow up?
Well I think that my favorite toy is different when I was in Korea and in US. in my generation, gundam plastic model was a trend; assembling, painting, and playing. Actually gundam was very popular in the generation of my older brother, and he influenced me when I grew up. Another trend was making a small racing car. Assembled with a motor, batteries, and wings and painted custom. I remember that I bought some parts like bearings and wings, which were price range of $1 to $10. There was a racing track in front of a toy store, so I used to race with my friend there.

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Julie Cheng, an undergraduate senior at MICA, is a Fibers major and Experimental Fashion concentrator who creates collections of fashionable female garments. A reoccurring theme throughout her work is the idea of sustainability – that is, reusing materials and never letting anything go to waste. Her trove of materials includes pages from fashion magazines, paper, plastic bags, aluminum cans, and basically anything that is typically wasted in great quantities.

Currently, Cheng is working on her senior thesis. “It’s going to be about accumulation and being green. The garment industry creates so much fabric and fashion, and then when styles go out, it all ends up in the trash. It’s the most wasteful industry and I want to do something about that.”

For Cheng, the relevance of sustainability comes not only from modern American culture, but also from the traditions of her family. She was born in New York, “Flushing, Queens, to be exact,” she says, to parents who immigrated from Taiwan. “My mom is a native Taiwanese, and she grew up on a farm as a very poor countryside girl.” Says Cheng, “When I was growing up, my mom always saved things, especially clothing. She has about five closets of clothes now.”

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What’s in “Lamesa, Texas”? What’s in Lamesa, Texas?

 

Exactly. But things aren’t as they seem.
Emilia Papanicolau, photo senior this year, was part of the recent group show of selected photo works in the Main Building’s Gallery. Her series, “Lamesa, Texas” caught my eye. Rustic colors of the Wild, Wild West–a dusty America bygone but still romanticized and ever alive in pockets of popular culture like the movie Toy Story. Not really animated in life, but like the toys in the movie, but kicking in our minds when we speak of it. Familiarity and foreignness intertwined, the art pieces somehow miss the mark of being “otherly”. Perhaps it’s because we insist on its presentness.
My encounter with Emilia was much like my first and second with “Lamesa, Texas”. Familiar, warm, yet something to dig deeper into, like the link has been set. Perhaps my bias is that like Emilia, I am from Boston with a few close relatives in Texas at one point; that like her, for summers, instead of going to the Cape or Martha’s Vineyard, we’d go to Texas or other places that our neighbors wouldn’t be at. She didn’t have to explain to me that greater Boston has a large Irish and Italian populace, with pockets of Jewish people and hardly any Black folk–at least where we grew up. Yet we never met until now, both being in Baltimore–a city that feels like a hodgepodge of various places in its aesthetics and the variety of peoples in sections of the city. We don’t have to explain these things, much less Red Sox passion or the urban geography.
Lamesa, Texas used to be a favorite place of ice cream, skipping children, family and smiling folk for Emilia. But as she got older, and her grandparents aged, the other community members also grew and went other places. She developed Massachusetts eyes, and looked through these irises on Lamesa. It has some cracks, but daisies grew there. A photograph from the “Lamesa, Texas” portfolio shows that the grass is still green, but there are no people, just a wooden sign. It’s as though a soccer match just broke for the day. Another photograph shows that the windows aren’t blocked up like in Baltimore, but there’s no one to see–just wall, cracked glass, and the dust that tricked in with the wind. It does not feel like a ghost town; perhaps it’s the magic of colors the photographer creates. Every photograph catches shadows yawning. There are traces of people having just stood up two minutes ago, to go to the BBQ at Sherry’s house or the Diary Queen. The sun has moved on, too.
Perhaps our forefathers made such an imprint on the world that when we talk about Americans or Americanism, we are really referring to a bygone America. That America of classic southern belles, proper gentlemen and patriotic senior citizens and children, with an upstanding government and powerful military–is something that may still be true to a certain extent, but not in the same way as before. Emilia endearingly reflects these thoughts on Lamesa’s afternoon stillness in her photograph series. Perhaps everyone in the USA has been taking dips in our friends’ pools, but we feel somewhat at home thinking that ‘America’ is that place two houses down–just the way we left it. Yet it’s dusty and all the passersby see it needs some cleaning and renovating. Perhaps being American now, is to search for a home. “Lamesa, Texas” has been de-installed for the Transformations Conference this weekend, but you can try catching Emilia before she graduates spring 2010. With this project as an inspirational launch pad, she is scouting quiet, ignored, abandoned areas for the traces people left behind, whether within the last decade, or the last hundred years. She’ll be pursuing graduate studies, and practical work immediately post-graduation. View her portfolio here (link: http://student.mica.edu/epapanicolaon), and her blog here (link: http://emilia-antonia.blogspot.com/)

What’s in “Lamesa, Texas”? What’s in Lamesa, Texas?

Exactly. But things aren’t as they seem.

Emilia Papanicolau, photo senior this year, was part of the recent group show of selected photo works in the Main Building’s Gallery. Her series, “Lamesa, Texas” caught my eye. Rustic colors of the Wild, Wild West–a dusty America bygone but still romanticized and ever alive in pockets of popular culture like the movie Toy Story. Not really animated in life, but like the toys in the movie, but kicking in our minds when we speak of it. Familiarity and foreignness intertwined, the art pieces somehow miss the mark of being “otherly”. Perhaps it’s because we insist on its presentness.

My encounter with Emilia was much like my first and second with “Lamesa, Texas”. Familiar, warm, yet something to dig deeper into, like the link has been set. Perhaps my bias is that like Emilia, I am from Boston with a few close relatives in Texas at one point; that like her, for summers, instead of going to the Cape or Martha’s Vineyard, we’d go to Texas or other places that our neighbors wouldn’t be at. She didn’t have to explain to me that greater Boston has a large Irish and Italian populace, with pockets of Jewish people and hardly any Black folk–at least where we grew up. Yet we never met until now, both being in Baltimore–a city that feels like a hodgepodge of various places in its aesthetics and the variety of peoples in sections of the city. We don’t have to explain these things, much less Red Sox passion or the urban geography.

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01_Synecdoche_whtiney-install

By Ellice Park

Byron Kim is a contemporary Korean-American artist. In the early 1990s, Kim made his debut in the art world with his artwork “Synecdoche,” a large group of monochromatic field paintings of various people’s skin tones. It was featured at the 1993 Whitney Biennial, which was also known as the ‘identity’ biennale or ‘multiculturalism’ biennale. Due to the fact that Kim is an artist of color, and having started his career with such artwork, people automatically assume that his work is only about race. Certainly, Kim’s work is often described under the category of identity art–but we learned through his visit to MICA that his work is about that and much more.

Byron Kim visited MICA for a couple of days in October 2008 and did a public lecture that filled up the Falvey Hall at the Brown Center. He also extended his visit by meeting senior undergraduate students, an art history course on contemporary Asia, critiquing graduate students of Hoffberger School of Painting, and talking with Asian students working on this publication, which included getting interviewed. There was certainly a great deal of hype that accompanied this Asian art star’s appearance on campus.

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By Ellice Park, Leslie Morgan Frederick

Brooklyn based artist Byron Kim visited MICA in 2008. He gave a public lecture, visited the Hoffberger School of Painting, seniors in the Painting and Drawing departments, and students in the Art History Course “Contemporary Asia”. He also found time to give Microcosm an hour-long interview. His visit was made possible by the Cultural Expansion Committee, the Hoffberger School of Painting, and the Mixed Media lecture series sponsored by the Painting, GFA and Drawing departments.

Q: How do you feel about being considered an artist who transcends multiculturalism, and do you agree with that notion or not?
BK: I agree with that. I think in the very beginning I very much was a part of the multicultural and I don’t know how intentional that was. I subsequently transcended that… I think that maybe my work has evolved from that. My work has always been somewhat personal,  and so it’s inevitably part of a number of different cultures. It’s part of an art culture, it’s part of a culture of my family. Its particularly part of the art world, but it’s also in some ways a part of the culture of New York. I’ve evolved from multiculturalism if by that you mean some sort of illusion of different, culturally informed content. Maybe I don’t find that model that useful any more.  It was useful for a moment.  It seems less useful now because once that happened, when we got through that, it no longer seemed necessary.  That’s not to say that everything is working perfectly…

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Mission Statement

We’re Artists meeting and talking with other Artists. Our interest is the Asian diaspora, and its farflung influences–and on the other hand, how Asian Culture and Arts have been influenced by the inter-culturalistic points its met in its travels. Tune in on Sundays for Microcosm’s regular goodness, and throughout the week for special surprises.
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