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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
As an Asian American, I am always dealing with racism. The racism worsened during COVID-19, not only for me but for the AAPI community as a whole. There was an increase in hate crimes because we were considered the cause of the pandemic. There were attacks, harassments, and threats made against Asian Americans. People tried to help on social media with the #stopasianhate movement. However, like other trends, this one soon disappeared. The unsettling nature of social media that allows people to apathetically scroll onto the next post and the acceptance from both communities fuel my show. My works discuss what it’s like being Asian American. In the past, I was hesitant to speak up about my racial problems because of my docile nature. However, it is time to stop living in fear because I deserve to have my voice heard.
#representasian combines graphic design and photography to raise awareness about the issues I face as an Asian American. There are typography works, illustrations, and package designs. The typography posters use soft colors and bold sans serif fonts to highlight racist quotes that people have said to me in the past. Next to them are kinetic type videos that animate other quotes. Both works are scaled large to force the viewer to pay attention to what is being said. The illustrations and milk carton designs depict my fondest memories of my trips to Korea. They also use soft colors to create a soothing quality that expresses how I felt when I was there. My photography is used for a similar purpose. The film photos document my trips to Asian American towns to show proper representation and to convey the warm feelings associated with each place. Lastly, is a documentary video on my parents’ immigration story. Having my parents and myself as the focal points bring attention to what we have done to accomplish the American Dream and the struggles to get there.
I’m constantly inspired by designers and photographers who shake the art world. Jessica Walsh is an unapologetically loud designer who uses bright colors and funky typography. Her color choices inspired the color palette of my show. She also incorporates a lot of display fonts, which influenced the font choices for my posters. Victore’s works are rebellious and defy perfection. He’s influenced by racism and comments on its destructive quality through the usage of erratic, handwritten fonts. My type videos comment on racism while encompassing an unstable feeling with overwhelming animations. Nikki S. Lee is a Korean fine art photographer who explores the struggles of understanding American culture. By conforming into different stereotypes, she found herself constantly changing her identity. Instead of finding the need to change myself, I embrace and display a representation of my Asian American identity through my show.
Jim Bryant; Cintia Segovia Figueroa; Gregory Scott Cook; Mike Martin
#representasian explores my identity as an Asian American and more specifically as a Korean American. My show combines both graphic design and photography to spread awareness of the good and bad sides of my identity. The photography and video are in a documentation style to show off how differently Asian Americans live and what it's like chasing the American Dream.
For graphic design, there are illustrations and package designs that use soft colors to express warm memories. There are also bold typography works that highlight racist quotes people have said to me in the past. Having overwhelming kinetic typography also helps emphasize the struggles I face from racism. The overall goal of this show was to have an accurate representation of what it's like being Asian American.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Kim, Shin, "#representasian" (2022). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 106.