Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Jeannie Hulen

Committee Member

Linda Lopez

Second Committee Member

InJeong Yoon

Third Committee Member

Mathew McConnell

Keywords

Art criticism, interactive experience, immigration, discrimination, migrant studies

Abstract

"The Systemic Punches: Displacement Experience of Vulnerable Immigrants" focuses on the impact of systems of state control such as immigration laws, policies, and practices that have been institutionalized and that have marginalized immigrants. In my thesis, I pay specific attention to inhuman acts of exclusion and discrimination resulting from the systemic barriers perpetuated by xenophobic and nationalist ideologies.

From this standpoint, my thesis exhibition employs interactive space, which includes visual art (drawing, sculpture ceramics), projection, video, and sound, as a means to explore the effects of the exclusive and discriminatory immigration policies and practices. Furthermore, it is designed to explore cultural, economic, social, and political forces behind the U.S. immigration system. The exhibition invites the audience to the experience of displacement and vulnerability by adopting different artistic devices. I intend to situate the audience into the experience of border crossing, assimilation, discrimination, and other forms of state control. I intend to create an environment where the audience can share their experiences with the artist as an immigrant. The emotions I intended to provoke include fear, anger, confusion, uncertainty, anxiety, depression, doubt, and loss. In order to mimic the immigration process in the United States, the audience receives the information they could not fully understand through an artistic device that is similar to the security checkpoint. Also, the exhibition offers the audience an affidavit of name changes to change their name to an unknown name. The audience's movements were restricted by a set of rules in the gallery space.

There is an urgency in addressing immigration issues. As an immigrant artist, my goal is to open up space where people are encouraged to think and have conversations around immigrant issues, even when it feels uncomfortable and sensitive. Therefore, I use different art forms and interactive spaces to create an environment where everyone would be comfortable and willing to talk about all these unjust, unfair, inhuman, and discriminatory systems of control.

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