Selected Written Texts
1. Brenning, Katrijn et al.”The Moderating Role of Vertical Collectivism in South-Korean Adolescents’ Perceptions of and Responses to Autonomy-Supportive and Controlling Parenting.” Frontiers in Psychology,vol. 9, 2018, www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01080. Accessed 20 December 2019.
This article outlines the differences between autonomy-supportive and controlling parenting and its impacts on South-Korean adolescents’ perceptions and their responses within a vertical collectivism realm. A current vignette-based experimental study* of 137 South-Korean adolescents, consisting of 54% with a mean age of 16 were examined. Autonomy-supportive parenting may seem to be particularly at odds with vertical collectivism**, which entails hierarchical parent–child relationships and parental dominance (Zhaiand Gao, 2009).Participants in the autonomy-supportive condition reported more perceived autonomy support and autonomy satisfaction and lower perceived control and autonomy need frustration than participants in the control condition.
This article helped ground my assumptions of strict Asian-immigrant parenting and view it from an analytical and psychological point of view. Being able to read and understand the studies done to test the correlation between autonomy-supportive parenting and self-esteem directly impact the ability for immigrant children to communicate with their parents. This relates to my thesis as understanding the source of strict parenting occurring commonly within Asian-immigrant parents aids me to find effective strategies to improve communication from both ends.
*Vignette studies use short descriptions of situations or persons (vignettes) that are usually shown to respondents within surveys in order to elicit their judgments about these scenarios (Atzmuller 2010).
**Vertical collectivism includes perceiving the self as a part (or an aspect) ofa collective and accepting inequalities within the collective (Singelis et al1995).
2. Hollan, Jim and Stornetta, Scott. “Beyond Being There.” Proceedingsof the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1992, pp.119-125.http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.161.3944&rep=rep1&type=pdf. Accessed 6 September 2019.
This article predicts the future of new communication media will and should provide a different and potentially better than, face-to-face interaction. Mediated interactions that attempt to mimic immediate presence will always be inferior to the real thing, whereas an innovative interface can provide unprecedented communicative abilities (Hollan and Stornetta 1992). This article digs deeper into the concepts that drive speculative fiction through its relationship with communication technology. As my thesis uses speculative narrative animation as a design tool to further my understanding of my missing Korean culture, the exploration of a digital dualism where online and offline identities can coexist.
This writing helps to understand why and how diasporic people may prefer online modes of communication over physical interactions, furthering my thesis concept. I expand upon this writing by coining my own term of “bedroom culture” to demonstrate the influence the internet had on my perception of my own culture.
Bedroom Culture is a term to describe the bedroom as a sacred place for a child of an immigrant family; as pace that may feel like the only freedom for true self-expression and identity. Whether the child occupies their bedroom by choice - or by force - it becomes a safe haven, one where that child can explore themselves freely and feel “at home” despite the reality constructed by their immigrant parents:unrealistic expectations, as well as constant miscommunications caused by the clash of Eastern and Western household cultural traditions. The bedroom becomes a place that offers more than just conventional needs like food, water,shelter; the bedroom aids the child in their search for individuality, identity and cultural belonging through the means of exploring other realities, like the digital world. Bedroom Culture is relevant to my thesis because as much as the bedroom is considered an independent space for kin, the concept of giving children privacy or agency in their own room essentially does not exist in some Asian households. This is a direct by-product of the intergenerational and cultural gap between Asian immigrant parents and their kin(s) during the kin’s adolescence.
3. Ahmed, Naveera. Remembering the "Home" throughYouTube Cooking Videos: Sensory Evocations, Cultural Negotiations and theDiasporic Kitchen, Trent University 2014, https://digitalcollections.trentu.ca/islandora/object/etd%253A164. Accessed 15 November 2019.
Naveera Ahmed, a PhD candidate of Trent University’s Masters of Arts program, writes about the role YouTube cooking videos play in helping her remember her Indian heritage, examining a particular channel called,“ShowMetheCurry,” presented by Anuja Balasubramanian and Hetal Jannu, two womenthat inhabit a diasporic domesticity and examine how the food they cook is away for them to maintain a sensory link to their home of origin, India. As a result, these diasporic women created a commercial brand, using this digital space as a way to explore and maintain their connection to the past home,India” (Ahmed 2013).
Ahmed’s writings remind me of my childhood where I discovered YouTube and eventually my love for dance.This special moment led to me watching hours of reality dance television shows,and self-teaching myself a way of expressing myself with movement and music.What was most memorable about this period of my life was seeing many people of colour on mainstream media. This was the first time I witnessed Asian-American second and third-generation immigrants on television pursuing their dreams fearlessly. The many hours spent in my room playing the same dance videos on repeat added to me slowly accepting the Korean parts of my culture that I rejected from childhood. The “ShowMetheCurry” channel also shares the stories of each recipe, revealing more about the womens’ longing for the tastes of their home of origin, and the way they attempt to retain this past within the present home in the host country” (Ahmed 2013). This circumstance is quite unique because of how Balasubramanian and Jannu enhances the functionality of a common space, into a diasporic kitchen, placing an entirely new meaning and perspective to their transnational identity. As Ahmed mentions the kitchen as a space of change, my room acts at the influential space of creation.
4. Brah, Avtar. “Cartographies of Diaspora: ContestingIdentities.” Routledge, New York 1996, http://www.urbanlab.org/books/Book2Net/DefaultJob/Brah,%20A.%201996_Cartographies%20of%20Diaspora.pdf. Accessed 24 October2019.
This article recontextualizes the definition of diaspora to individuals that cannot be defined by this common term. Referencing Georgiou’s definition, she states, “the term ‘diaspora’ refers to people who cross boundaries and who settle in locations different to those of their origins” (Georgiou 6). Expanding upon Georgiou’s definition, I am looking at the characteristics of what it means to be a diasporic person. Many definitions state how diaspora is mistaken with a longing to want to return to their home country, when many diasporic people can still experience missing a place without wanting to go back. This theory makes me more comfortable by revolving my thesis around this term. If all diasporic people desire to return to their home, that would make a claim of a border that stood in between this exchange. Brah argues that the concept of diaspora does not strictly pertain to fixed origins, where one can experience a longing desire for a particular place in which they do not want to return to. This distinction is important, not least because not all diaspora sustain an ideology of “return.”(Brah 1996). Brah’s quote broadens my circumstance of never been to Korea but yearning to go there.
This theory related to my work as I carefully cross multiple borders, which some are made visible to me whilst traveling to South Korea with my family and living alone in Glasgow for an extended period of time. My thesis attempts to identify these borders that I have created consciously, as well as analyze those boundaries created by external sources through the combination of traditional Korean dance with contemporary dance.
1. Feng, Jiang. 行為藝術家 NEW AMERICANA IV: I Have Become Me Now. Candy Studio, New York City, USA.
Jiang Feng is a non-gendered, multi-disciplinary working across areas of dance, movement, art, voice, text and theory. Feng’s work challenges social and gendered constructs within the sexuality and racial labels that are placed amongst Asians immigrants residing in North America. In Feng’s performance piece, NEW AMERICANA IV: I Have Become Me Now, collaborated with fellow performance artists and fashion designer, YunRay Chung, Chia-Hao Shen, Celine Lin and photographer Steven Molina Contreras. This collaborative piece incorporates the passage of time as each performer shares their story of immigration through several piece of garments.As each storyteller passes the one set of garments to each other, they interact with them differently, “trying each one on with their own mind and will, testing the garments’ possibilities.”
I take great inspiration from NEW AMERICANA IV: I HaveBecome Me Now as I am delving into live and musical performance as an expressive medium. I am also collaborating with a local Korean-Canadian sound artist. Feng’s piece is simple, yet poetic requiring only simple materials to execute and convey a complex message. What strikes me about the piece as well is how each performer is independently able to share their story while the sum of their parts create a large and stronger weave of a collective garment us as viewers can wear.
In the end, the last performer weaves the garments into a loom, forcing the garments back to fabrics, but they will never be fabrics again, reflecting upon the hand-me-down culture which is a common practice within Asian households. The eldest would pass down their grown-out clothes to the next siblings and so forth. This exchange is a beautiful metaphor for representing the way stories are told, and passed on to generations. We will never be who we were again.Immigrants experience so many difficulties, learned so many things and changed so much for the new country. They became their own community between two cultures, telling a story in a story itself.
2. New, Leeroy. Space Garden. The Pasig River, Manila,Philippines.
Leeroy New is an interdisciplinary artist and designer whose work responds directly to the absence of artists and art practioners’ within the Philippines. Being an artist in the Philippines is often an overlooked and an unsupported community. Using found materials commonly used in Filipino culture, New finds bold ways of integrating zip ties, cement foundations, bamboo and plastic within his work.These found materials reveal the short lifespan of single-use products, where they are mass-produced, purchased then immediately disposed of. New takes advantage of collecting these objects, bringing a new life to what was planned to decompose silently for a long period of time. For example, His Balete series is a collection of industrial pipes weaved using cable ties to form large-scale environments. New’s most recent project involved collaboration with urban designer, Julia Nebrija where the duo built a performance space/garden,floating down Manila’s central and most polluted waterway: the Pasig River.
This work relates to my practice as I attempt to situate my work within a specific geography and culture by addressing its history. Leeroy New’s focus on ecological and cultural issues is effectively understood through his location choice, and colourful wearable sculptures. Whereas my cultural struggle is seen through the creation of hand making a traditional Korean hanbok using materials that represent South Korean culture, and most importantly,represent my hybrid identity.
New’s use of bold colours and quirky shapes activate the public spaces his performers and pieces occupy. I am inspired by the way New obscures the face of his works, evoking a sense of mystery. I interpret this as an identity struggle, which is seen within my work through the use of masks and creating strange forms through performance and materials. With a practice that combines film, theater, product design and fashion, I see similarities between mine and New’s work.
3. Tanaka, Atsuko. Electric Dress. Museum of Contemporary Art, 1956, Tokyo, Japan.
Atsuko Tanaka is a Japanese artist that dove deep into painting, sculpture, performance and installation art mediums. Tanaka was responsible for bringing avante-garde to Japan, who was a part of the Gutai group, an avante-garde artists’ movement.
Electric Dress is a powerful performance and sculptural piece that is made up of wires and painted light bulbs that captures the discomfort of the Kimono, a traditional Japanese garment that is T-shaped and wrapped tightly around the waist and worn by young single women and girls. Tanaka cleverly layers herself with mass-produced materials such as wires and lights to mimic the folding method of that of a kimono to state how uncomfortable it makes them feel. Tanaka’s piece is a symbol of consumerist behaviours,a noticeable consequence of modern life that was quickly influencing Japanese citizens.
Tanaka’s work reflects with mine as hers includes traditional Japanese dress and questions its legitimacy onto the status of women in society. Although, my use of the hanbok, a traditional Korean dress is also recreated by alternative materials, its purpose serves to reflect the struggle of identifying myself through my Korean-Canadian makeup. Tanaka addresses the relationship between tradition and modern industrial technology,both themes that are included within my work through immigration narratives.
The performance aspect includes Tanaka to “peel” the layers off, disrobing herself to a fitted leotard of fitted lights. The outcome draws similarities between my thesis as I also shed layers of my handmade hanbok to reveal the acceptance of occupying both cultures as a way of bridging the gap between my Canadian and Korean bodies.
4. Traditional Korean Fan Dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFcoEFBSkYU)
Pansori (판소리) is a Korean genre of storytelling done by a performer/singer and drummer that usually lasts between 3-6 hours. The term pansori is made up of two words, pan and sori. Pan has a multitude of different ways. This was the intention behind the word, leaving it to become interpreted however one may wish. One possible meaning is “a situation where many people are gathered.”Another “a song if composed of varying tones.” Sori in Korean simply means sound. This is originally known as a form of entertainment done for the lower classes, and then embraced by the Korean upper class in the 19th century.
Pansori’s repertoire consists of 12 song cycles, also known as mandang or 마당 in Korean. Contemporary approaches of the mandang deviate from their original sound, where musicians choose to perform the popular sections of the songs. Of the 12 original mandang, only five are currently performed:
Pansori is a form of dance I would like to take elements from within my performance. The attributes of synchronizing the dance with the music is a technique I wish to tackle when collaborating with the sound artist. As Pansori commonly uses drum beats to accompany the performer’s dance, I will also be incorporating other traditional Korean instruments such as the traditional Korean guitar, the Gayageum. I take inspiration from the elegant choreography this dancer performs into my work and music collaboration as an interpretation of Pansori to reflect my longing for my Korean culture.