My concentration focuses on the symbol of an ‘odd eye’ that captures both traditional and postmodern cultural phenomena. I created this symbol to demonstrate that traditional cultures are not just the thing of the past, but can harmoniously come together with postmodern ideas. By incorporating the traditional Korean designs and contemporary designs, I used various media and techniques to portray how the two distinctively different styles can create a unique harmony.
I thought about the way that Brancusi simplified forms, but also gave the forms meaning. In the same way, I started with creating a symbol of an eye by simplifying the form with geometric lines. Then I portrayed the symbol in various techniques by using contemporary production, methods like silk screening and incorporating the silk screens with traditional Korean folk patterns. Like Andy Warhol, I used silk screening in a painterly way and used the drips as forms to draw on. While creating a combination of traditional and contemporary designs, I experimented with printed, painted, and drawn forms. I also used stencils and methods of subtraction and addition. In C10, for instance, I merged two silk screens into one image through addition and subtraction, subtracting from both and adding the missing part of each to one another. When you look at C3 and C6, you can see that not all the parts of the stencil was used, but the form was still able to remain strong, because an added layer of drawing around it and the color yellow kept it strong compositionally. If you look at C 4, you can see how I used the silk screen to paint. Different colors were dragged through the screen to give a painterly effect. Then a clean, clear form was silk screened on top of the painterly texture, balancing experimentations with precision.
Let me tell you a few things.
I’m 40% Korean, 40% Japanese, and 20% American. This does not mean I’m a descendent of Jeremy Lin nor I speak Mandarin.
My mom has a last name Kim and first name Miyuki. This does not mean she is a chinc or a tiger mom.
My grandmother is Japanese American, and she has a strong accent. This does not mean she is not American enough nor she should feel the shame of being Asian.
For decades, the word ‘Asian’ has been a term that homogenizes 17 million Asian Americans; (pause) a term that justifies the rest of the country to force us to fit into the stereotypes and to hind behind our heritage; A SYNONYM FOR ‘LESS-AMERICAN,’ ‘SHAMEFUL,’ ‘EXOTIC,’ AND MANY MORE; a term that makes you assume that your Chinese classmate is an awkward math genius or a musical virtuoso.
But I believe the word ‘Asian’ should mean nothing more than my ethnicity.
I refuse to conceal that every time you confuse me with some other nationality that I might share similarities with, you turn me into a racist joke and strip away my individuality.
I refuse to appreciate J.K. Rowling for making her only Asian character Cho Chang an overachieving nerd, and to remain silent to the media that portrays Asian women as hypersexual, exoteric objects.
I REFUSE TO LIVE IN A SOCIETY THAT LABELS ME AS MINORITY, BUT TREATS ME LIKE A FOREIGNER; a society that protects me as a secondary role, but never as a leader; a society in which my ethnicity is regarded as a long list of derogatory terms engraved as an enduring tattoo on my back; a society that forces me to suppress my heritage in a culture that appropriates it, fetishizes it, and marginalizes it.
And I ask you, to see beyond the word, and learn who I really am.
The Cultural Ambassador Committee is hosting the 1st International Festival from 3/27 to 4/2 on campus to appreciate the cultures of 13 countries Episcopal students come from. Each day of the week is assigned to each continent, and we’ll celebrate the art, food, and music of the countries represented by our students. We hope this to be an event that raises awareness on diversity, and give a voice to all students with various backgrounds.