Christina Kang

MFA, Printmaking

Artist Statement

My work is about the cultural rift in which Asian Americans find themselves confined within; I am disconnected from my parents’ culture and yet not fully a part of the place of my upbringing. I cannot speak my parents’ language, which leads to disconnect with my relatives in Taiwan. I feel guilty and ashamed for viewing this cultural disconnect as a burden. I am unable to carry my parents’ cultural heritage into the future.

When I first acknowledged my identity crisis, I wanted a concrete solution, a pathway that others had followed to resolve their own crises. Follow a list of steps; learn a language; learn to cook like my mom. After this, my identity would be easily identifiable and manageable. My reduction of identity — seeking a simple way to “solve” the associated crisis — also parallels the intentional misconceptions of Asians and Asian Americans in American culture.

We are held up as an example of a “model minority”, particularly weaponized against other immigrants and people of color. The American Dream is reduced to three simple steps: “Follow the rules, work hard, and you will achieve success in the face of hardship.”

To consider Asians and Asian Americans as a model minority is to completely remove the vast differences in our identities; an intentional, malicious act of whitewashing. Not only does this alienate us and pit us against other racially and culturally marginalized people, but also invalidates our experiences of discrimination and marginalization. Our cultures are appropriated, bodies fetishized and viewed as disposable, traditions edited to be more palatable for a white audience.

How To presents a series of instruction panels that are in varying stages of disrepair and reconstruction. These panels represent instructions as systems of internalized and external racism and how I simultaneously have power, privilege, control and yet it is reluctantly granted in service to the lie that America is a place of equal opportunity.

How To,
Thesis Title

Rinse and Repeat, 2020
Screen-print, 17″x14″

To preserve the integrity of your fragrance (and also ensure it lasts longer on your skin), spritz both wrists lightly, let the liquid sink in, and then do absolutely nothing at all, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gel Pen, Gouache, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

Guarantee your seat at the table. Put down the placemat. Place the napkin on the left side of the placemat. Place the plate in the center of the placemat. Place the dinner fork and salad fork on the napkin; 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

Strain your noodles into a strain yourself in a strain your noodles, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

Keep the cups on the skin for about 10-20 minutes, until the skin beneath them begins turning from red to violet. Remove the cups by simply lifting them off your hands. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

“Ask 15 Asian girls out for coffee. Keep asking until one of them clicks with you. If 15 don’t work, then ask 15 more, then 15 more, then 15 more.” – Top comment for Quora forum: “How do I get an Asian girlfriend (the right way)?”, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

Three Ways to Clean a Bamboo Streamer, 2021
Relief and Screen-print, 30 “x42”

Pull as much of the skin away as you can. If there are any stringy bits, pull those off too, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″

Put yourself into your place yourself in your place, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

Christina Kang

MFA, Printmaking

Artist Statement

My work is about the cultural rift in which Asian Americans find themselves confined within; I am disconnected from my parents’ culture and yet not fully a part of the place of my upbringing. I cannot speak my parents’ language, which leads to disconnect with my relatives in Taiwan. I feel guilty and ashamed for viewing this cultural disconnect as a burden. I am unable to carry my parents’ cultural heritage into the future.

When I first acknowledged my identity crisis, I wanted a concrete solution, a pathway that others had followed to resolve their own crises. Follow a list of steps; learn a language; learn to cook like my mom. After this, my identity would be easily identifiable and manageable. My reduction of identity — seeking a simple way to “solve” the associated crisis — also parallels the intentional misconceptions of Asians and Asian Americans in American culture.

We are held up as an example of a “model minority”, particularly weaponized against other immigrants and people of color. The American Dream is reduced to three simple steps: “Follow the rules, work hard, and you will achieve success in the face of hardship.”

To consider Asians and Asian Americans as a model minority is to completely remove the vast differences in our identities; an intentional, malicious act of whitewashing. Not only does this alienate us and pit us against other racially and culturally marginalized people, but also invalidates our experiences of discrimination and marginalization. Our cultures are appropriated, bodies fetishized and viewed as disposable, traditions edited to be more palatable for a white audience.

How To presents a series of instruction panels that are in varying stages of disrepair and reconstruction. These panels represent instructions as systems of internalized and external racism and how I simultaneously have power, privilege, control and yet it is reluctantly granted in service to the lie that America is a place of equal opportunity.

How To,
Thesis Title

Rinse and Repeat, 2020
Screen-print, 17″x14″

To preserve the integrity of your fragrance (and also ensure it lasts longer on your skin), spritz both wrists lightly, let the liquid sink in, and then do absolutely nothing at all, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gel Pen, Gouache, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

Guarantee your seat at the table. Put down the placemat. Place the napkin on the left side of the placemat. Place the plate in the center of the placemat. Place the dinner fork and salad fork on the napkin; 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

Strain your noodles into a strain yourself in a strain your noodles, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

Keep the cups on the skin for about 10-20 minutes, until the skin beneath them begins turning from red to violet. Remove the cups by simply lifting them off your hands. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming as it cools, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

“Ask 15 Asian girls out for coffee. Keep asking until one of them clicks with you. If 15 don’t work, then ask 15 more, then 15 more, then 15 more.” – Top comment for Quora forum: “How do I get an Asian girlfriend (the right way)?”, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ 

Three Ways to Clean a Bamboo Streamer, 2021
Relief and Screen-print, 30 “x42”

Pull as much of the skin away as you can. If there are any stringy bits, pull those off too, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″

Put yourself into your place yourself in your place, 2021
Whiteout, Ballpoint Pen, Highlighters, Gouache, Gel Pens, and Graphite on Paper, 6″x6″ (each drawing)

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