Saturday, May 05, 2007

Not In The News Friday Saturday (NITNS)

NITNS will usually be a bit of trivia that I found interesting and thought you would like. It may be IR-related and it might not -- but should always be fun...or at least fascinating.

This week, I want to make some commentary on an article I ran across this morning. The article link is for a artistic display called "Half Asian" that ran from February 2, 2007 through March 27, 2007 in Oakland, California.

From their website, here is the synopsis of the project:

Aishman and Sloat met in Boston during graduate studies in the Tufts University/Boston Museum School program. They began the Half Asian project in 2001, interested in expressing the unique condition of being multi-racial Asian. Ben (Half-Taiwanese) and Steve (Half-Japanese) had shared experiences of being mistaken for a number of different races, for being assumed to not be Asian while in Asia, despite speaking the native language, and for being interested in creating a visual community of half-Asians where a physical community is not possible.

The first element of the Half Asian project is the Trilogy photographic series, where more than 100 people have been photographed. The project has since continued to involve more photographic series, as well as video works and multimedia installation pieces. Work from this project has been shown in galleries and museums on the East and West Coasts and has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and the New York Times.

Now, while I don't have any problems with exploring one's whole identity, I do have a problem with intentional segregation of your "halves" such as this project explores, tongue-in-cheek fashion or not. I was discussing this project with a friend who is part-Korean and that's when it dawned on me...

With my sons, I never think about their "Black Half" or "White Half" or their "Native American 1/16th" -- they are Black and White and Native American. They are the sum of their parts, they do not pick and choose what part they are today or tomorrow. It is the completeness -- the blend -- of all of these genetic traits and cultural heritage that makes them who they are and makes them special.

Identity is the sum of what makes you uniquely you.

Or to put it another way: racial segregation has always been bad and it always will be. Let's leave it in the past where it belongs.

Best Wishes,

Source: 'Half Asian' exhibit provokes questions about race


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