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Korean/American/Women: Diasporic Identity of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha And Yang Soon Min

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2001, (13), pp.61-101
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : November 30, 2001
  • Accepted : December 31, 2001
  • Published : December 31, 2001

Kim Hyeonjoo 1

1추계예술대학교

ABSTRACT

The meaning of 'Home' and the identity have been emerged one of the most significant themes among the Asian American women artists during the past ten years. In most of their works the artists inquiry 'what is home?' , 'where is my home?' The questions relate to 'who am I?'. Home also has been problematized to the women much more than men as the place and concept in the feminist consciousness. In this article, I focus two Korean American women artists, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha(1951-1982) and Yong Soon Min(1953-), and explore how their own identities have been articulated through the consciousness of the changing notions of home, belonging, ethnicity, and positionality between Korea and the US. Some of Theresa Cha's film and video installations and performance pieces produced in the late 1970s until her sudden death of 1982 are the evidences ofher deep engagement to the theme in those early periods. Min is another important artist who has been searching of the new notion of her home and identity in the global diasporic culture. The meticulous analyses of the works of Cha and Min will reveal both artists negated the nationalist concept of home as a pure origin, or a permanent root. This study, instead, will remind the readers of the continuous overlapping of US and Korea in certain parts of modern geopolitical history. In conclusion, these two women artists find their space neither here nor there, but in-betweenness. In the third space, the fixed identity will be denied and replaced by the newly emerged double, or even multiple identities. This discussion will also make the readers real­ize the homogeneity of Korea and Koreanness is an only fantasy historically con­structed as the same as the US's.

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