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Justin Hoch, http://www.jhoch.com

Meet Jen Kwok. A slim, cute Asian American working in New York City as a musician, comedian, and writer all rolled into one. Wait, what? Yeah, she’s Asian American… But instead of the usual stereotypical job that Asian American’s have: nail manicurists, restaurant owners, cleaners, taxi drivers, etc, or being a housewife to another stereotyped Asian man with a small penis, this gal is actually trying to fight the stereotype. But wait, she hasn’t joined a human rights’ campaign? How can she possibly be an active advocate? Here’s the catch: comedy through music. Take a look:


Credits: Jen Kwok & her band.

Hollaaa!

Jen has received a lot of great feedback from her audiences– from inspiring some to become writers, to having Asian drag troupes perform “Date an Asian” onstage, to people covering some of her other songs, Jen has received positive response from excited audiences online and off– not only for her comedic performances but also for the messages that she conveys through her songs. She wants them to just have a good time with it and take it lightheartedly.

In getting to know her a bit, we see that we really get a better climpse at the pan-Asian-American landscape of immigration stories. Jen grew up in Palmdale, California, where she and her family were the only Asian Americans around. The only Asian Americans she ever knew were blood related until the beginning of high school. We see the states as a cultural melting pot, but when Jen was growing up, her teachers wouldn’t even believe that she ate jellyfish. Instead, they told her not to lie. Such a statement is met with either mild surprise or disgust, if not a mixture of both. Another instance of cultural misconception she encountered at a young age was when she was told she couldn’t marry celebrity Jonathan Taylor Thomas because she isn’t white. It was understood as a general assumption that races don’t mix except for polite conversation and in the necessary workforce. At home she’d semiotically translate jokes, and outside the home she’d translate her skin color.

She found that expressing herself through comedy as a language combined with song were two things that could hold people’s attention positively. She spins tunes out of her negative experiences and realities to empower the pan-Asian American voice and shed light on stereotypical injustices. Though she did pursue the job of an accountant after majoring in business, she quickly quit the job to pursue a career in comedy. Good thing she did, otherwise where would we get these great videos that make us laugh and a little more culturally aware? With her ukelele in one hand and microphone in the other, Kwok uses her humour to encourage other young Asian Americans, East and Middle Eastern, especially those interested in the arts–to constantly look within and have integrity with everything they do in life, honestly questioning everything. Then do what they feel is right. She encourages us all to do things for ourselves and not others’ expectations, even if it is incredibly difficult.

Stay tuned to see more of her! She’s coming up with a new music video in April featuring some of the performers in her “Date an Asian” video. And for more Jen Kwok while awaiting the release of her music videos (her youtube site), keep up with her blog! Jenkwok.wordpress.com.

By Ellice Park and Mon-Mon Wu

Californians Teresa & Serena Wu shared with us their experiences and ongoing adventures since they founded mymomisafob.com and mydadisafob.com. This project, launched by creative assignment, garnered immense popularity within its first week, and will become a book published by Penguin’s Perigee books. “F.O.B.” standing for “fresh off (the) boat”, used to be a derogatory term for immigrants, but through their good-natured humor, “fob: is evolving into a more beloved and endearing term.  We tip our super-size sun visors to visionary and accidental pioneers like Teresa & Serena.

Ellice Park: How do you manage your two sites?

Teresa Wu: Serena manages http://mydadisafob.com, I manage http://mymomisafob.com.  She takes care of the technical stuff, and I run the social media stuff.

Jenny Robinson: Was there a particular incident that inspired you two to make these sites?

TW: I had done a creative writing assignment for one of my classes where I just strung together a bunch of emails and conversations I had with my mom and it got a really awesome response from the prof/class.  I’d always posted funny snippets from my mom in my blog so I mentioned the idea to Serena and she thought it’d be funny too.  We started gathering emails from out own moms and from our friends and… site was born =)

JR: Did you and your friends ever get feedback about the site from your parents?

TW: Serena’s mom thinks it’s hilarious and wants to be friends with all the other Asian moms, with my mom, I have to explain all the posts to her because she’s so fobby she doesn’t understand why they’re funny.

EP: Were you and Serena born/raised in California?  I lived in CA for two years and it was basically Asia #2.

TW: We were both born/raised in California, in Fremont which is SUPER Asian.  Our high school was 70% Asian.  I think having a big community of Asians around made it easier to celebrate our fobbiness.

EP: Being in a diversely Asian community, do you see yourselves as just Asian American, or do you identify with your ethnicity?

TW: I definitely see myself as Taiwanese American… if you grew up in a less diverse area I could see why you might just identify as Asian American, but since we have SO MANY ethnicities I do think people identify with their individual cultures.

Serena Wu: same, in high school we had multicultural week and a lot of my friends were Indian and we’d attend their Indian potluck parties once in awhile, so it was a good mix.  But I never really thought of myself as Taiwanese American until I started attending Taiwanese American conferences and such.

EP: I feel that it is awesome that you two created something that doesn’t enhance the lines between Asians, but rather unifies Asian Americans and yet, how pronounced each ethnicity might be?

SW: Freshmen year of college, I had this discussion w/my roommate who went to a school in Los Angeles which was also very Asian, and she said there was an intense Chinese vs. Taiwanese debate at her High School, though that was never an issue for us at our high school.  Everyone was just… friends.  No one was really I’M KINDA INDIAN or I’M THIS KINDA CHINESE. Wasn’t very… discriminatory.  The community itself was very multicultural and everyone embraced each other’s cultural differences.

TW: The thing that’s great about the site is that yeah, we do have distinctly different identities, but Asian Americans all grew up with so many similarities, things like our parent’s attitudes towards academics… sex… you name it.

SW: The sites aren’t very representative of our backgrounds necessarily; since we get submissions from literally, all sorts of people even Russian immigrants.  The sites show how we’re never really self-conscious or embarrassed about having first-generation parents because most, if not all of our friends did as well, so it was never like we experienced any racial stereotyping, name-calling, any of that

EP: Has the way you viewed the project evolved at all?

SW: The project has definitely evolved, I mean we started it as something just for fun, but Now we’re being published by Penguin’s perigee books, definitely something we’d ever imagine happening.  Oh we had Margaret Cho write our intro though, that was nice of her.

EP: Congratssss =)

JR: What I really liked about the site was that it brings humor to fobbiness when I think my mom was insecure about her own fobbiness, it was great when I shower her the site and she was able to find humor in the fobbiness that made her insecure in our dominantly white community.

SW: Yeah I’m glad your moms enjoy the sites, my mom actually wants me to connect her with other moms, I think they have the comfort of knowing that “hey, I say that to my kids as well” or “I have the same set of values” etc.  Whereas, kids find comfort knowing, hey, I’m not the only person with a misspelled name or its not so weird that I wasn’t allowed to date until college, etc.  And then there’s an audience who just wants to read a bit of humor, even if they can’t really relate and even that’s good because they begin to understand a bit more about our social pressures or traditional values. Example, why we never talk about sex openly lol; why our parents blatantly call us fat all the time etc.  I’d say a lot of the things parents say are… so common among all parents lol.  Every time we read another submission we’re like, HAHA about that again.

TW: Yeah, there are so many things people probably think are stories unique to them, but it happens over and over, for example, moms ordering doggy-style fries instead of animal style fries.

JR: What are some of your favorite submissions?

SW: Online predator,

http://mymomisafob.com/2009/01/11/online-predators-via-youtube/

TW: My favorite entries are pretty much the top rated ones lol

SW: This one where a dad creates a rubric for datable guys,

http://mydadisafob.com/2009/04/03/boys-youre-being-graded/

and I actually know the person who submitted it; shes my neighbor and her mom was my piano teacher lol.

JR: It sounds like you guys started this as a local site for you and your friends but at what point did it get so popular? Did anything happen to enhance its popularity?

SW: haha ok, so we started on tumblr, huge reblogging community, reached over 60,000 hits in one week so had to switch the site over to a self-hosted blog and we also created the dad site all within a week.  I’m glad we made the switch so early otherwise it would’ve been a hassle redirecting people, etc.  Anyway, then exactly a year ago when Teresa was in Cyprus studying abroad our servers were overwhelmed, cause we were reaching all-time hits and we were banned from bluehost 3x so I had to made another switch to linode. Much, more space, more bandwidth.  Hoping it’ll last us lol.  We get most of our publicity from our facebook fan page, I’d say and just word of mouth, oh an the occasional from SFGate, CNNgo, oh in the beginning it was all thanks to angryasianman, disgrasian, and neatorama featuring us.

EP: Just one last question, what do you wish we asked you? And

what do you want people to know about you and

your projects?

SW: So occasionally, we get the angry email about us spurring racial stereotypes, or not respecting our parents, especially as Asians who are supposed to be extremely obedient and polite. In all honesty, we never meant the sites to be negative in any way.  We never meant to just make fun of our parents; it’s more of the idea of sharing the cute things our parents say and people submit because they WANT TO, not because they’re embarrassed. (otherwise they would never submit stuff)  We wanted to create this sharing community and embrace our cultural differences and show that there really isn’t anything to be embarrassed about… oh your mom is a fob? Well so is mine.  She can’t spell either.  But hey, we are a unique generation; there’s only going to be one 2nd generation with 1st generation parents.  It’s a but challenging at times because they’re trying to understand us and we’re trying to accept their traditional values and ideas.  But we’re all overcoming communication barriers, generation gaps, and cultural differences together and that’s worthy of documenting.

To get some more fobby goodness, go to mymomisafob.com & mydadisafob.com Keep your eyes open for their upcoming book, which will be published by Penguin Perigree books this fall.

Interview conducted by Ellice Park and Jenny Robinson 2010

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

“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

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

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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DSCN1839bw

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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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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