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Asian Identity: three contemporary Artists reflect on adaptation in an intercultural dialogue image

Asian Identity: three contemporary Artists reflect on adaptation in an intercultural dialogue

The Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. proudly presents its final exhibition of 2018, Asian Identity, an intercultural group show featuring photographic, video, sculpture, and mixed media works by artists Yuni Kim Lang, Khánh H. Lê, and Sarawut Chutiwongpeti. Each artist’s evocative and deeply personal work expresses their unique identity as Asian, balancing formative experiences adapting to new environments with a desire to preserve one’s cultural heritage. 

These three artists, of Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai heritage respectively, believe that investigating one’s cultural roots is vital to understanding oneself, especially in an era where myriad world cultures coexist and globalization further blurs traditional lines of separation. Across widely varying media and modes of expression, they examine fundamental issues of identity and discuss through art their unique cultural states of being. Collectively, this exhibition aims to introduce the creative potential of contemporary artists of Asian heritage in the United States at a time when global interest in Asia on the rise. This exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Royal Thai Embassy in the United States. 

Admission to the opening reception with talks by the artists on Friday, December 7 at 6:00 p.m. is free and open to the public, but registration is required below. Asian Identity will remain on view during regular hours through January 4, 2019.

Asian Identity
WHAT: Art exhibition, artist talks, & public opening reception
WHO: Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Yuni Kim Lang, Khánh H. Lê,
WHEN: Opening Reception: Friday, December 7, at 6:00 pm
On View: December 7, 2018 – January 4, 2019 (open M-F, 9am-noon & 1:30-5:30pm)
WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C. (2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW)
HOW: Free RSVP to the opening below. No RSVP needed during regular hours. 

About the Artists

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti constantly travels the world, becoming inspired by new experiences. He explores the intersection of art and culture in a rapidly changing modern society, looking for his own voice and identity as an artist. His work is a means of connecting the culture of his mother country and the neo nomadic lifestyle to which he is currently oriented. His series Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dream) presented in this exhibition is part of the artist's work Utopia, which encompasses other experiences in which he learns about the world and finds a new identity.

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti is an artist who lives and works in various places around the world. His film works and installations are highly personal: they are a means to make connections between his native country, Thailand, and its culture, and the living aesthetics of a neo-nomadic artist. He has presented his work in solo exhibitions at the Graz Kunstverein, London Art Fair, and Korea International Art Fair among others, as well as in numerous group exhibitions in recent years, including the Athens Biennale 2018: ANTI (Greece, 2018), Bienal Internacional de Arte de Cerveira (Portugal, 2017), The Third Kunming Fine Art Biennale 2016 (Yunnan Fine Art Museum, China, 2016), and the Sea Art Festival at the Busan Biennale (Korea, 2015).

For more information, visit the artist's website at www.chutiwongpeti.info

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti

Series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> The Dream of a Greater Countries...)

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti

Series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> One To Another...)

Sarawut Chutiwongpeti
Series of Untitled (Wishes, Lies and Dreams >> The Dream of a Greater Countries...)

Yuni Kim Lang creates to understand her cultural identity and employs a variety of creative genres including sculpture, photography, installation, and performance art to explore these facets of her identity. Growing up in a foreign country after leaving Korea at age three, she became interested in her symbolic black hair and what people gave meaning to.  This is which she formed her childhood cultural identity around. Living in a culturally diverse environment, her own black hair felt significant psychologically and aesthetically. Eventually she came to envision it as a landscape or seascape, full of life and full of stories to tell. The knots in her works are also cultural symbols with various layers of meaning. The massive pile of dark woven knots, appearing like hair in her sculpture work, symbolizes connection, conformity, adornment and much more; it is powerful and beautiful, yet burdensome and heavy. It is this intense, overwhelming, and yet satisfying relationship that connects us to our inner self.

Yuni Kim Lang received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from Parsons School of Design. Lang is a Michigan-based visual artist who creates sculptures, photographs, and wearable art that explores themes of weight, mass, accumulation, hair, and cultural identity. She creates sculptures out of rope and synthetic materials that transcend materiality to become bodily. She is fascinated by the things people give power and meaning to, along with our human obsession with adornment. Lang has presented her work at numerous shows, including solo exhibitions at the Frost Art Museum in Miami, Fla. and at Sienna Gallery in Lenox, Mass., as well as at the Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wis., Collective 2 Design Art Fair in New York, NY, Parsons Alumni Juried exhibition, New York, N.Y., Brooklyn Metal Works in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mercedes-Benz Financial Services in Farmington, Mich., and Galerie Marzee in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She was an artist residence at the Kohler Arts/Industry program (Kohler, Wisconsin), Red Gate Gallery (Beijing, China), and received a Merit-based scholarship for her residency at the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vermont). 

For more information, visit the artist's website at www.yunikimlang.com

Yuni Kim Lang

Comfort Hair - Hair Landscape III

Digital pigment print, 2013

Yuni Kim Lang

Blooming - Mother and Child

Digital pigment print, 2017 

Yuni Kim Lang

Untitled Series

 Mixed fiber, 2017

Khánh H. Lê explores and questions the concept of his identity through culture and memory. Growing up in the United States as a Vietnamese American, he learned to adapt his identity to a new culture, effectively existing between two cultures, which he expresses in his work. Contradiction and division are important issues when examining the concept of identity within the structure of his work. Through the process of compiling family photographs, digital content, magazines, and collages of metals and beads together, he creates an original genre of artwork that reflects the inherent tension in the subjects’ identities. For Lê personally, identity plays a central role in artistic output. He continuously probes his personal and familial histories in an attempt to carve out a cultural identity for himself.

Lê graduated with his BFA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has been exhibited at the Hunterdon Art Museum (Clinton, N.J.), Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua, N.Y.), Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, Pa.), Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (Wilmington, Del.), Arlington Arts Center (Arlington, Va.), and in Washington, D.C. at Honfleur Gallery, DC Arts Center, Washington Project for the Arts, and Transformer. The New York Art Residency and Studio awarded Le their 2016 Annual Solo Exhibition Fellowship. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded Lê their Artist Fellowship for the Visual Arts in 2017. Lê continues to live and work in Washington, D.C., where he actively explores and questions the notion of identity through the lenses of culture and memory.

For more information, visit the artist's website at www.khanhartist.com

Khánh H. Lê

Sitting There to Wait For

Mixed media: Gold and silver paint, acrylic jewels, glitter, sequins and archival print on wood panel, 2018

Khánh H. Lê

Trying Out the Borrowed, One-Pedal Bicycle

Mixed media: Gold and silver paint, acrylic jewels, and archival print on wood panel, 2017

Khánh H. Lê

Mixed media: Gold and silver paint, acrylic jewels, glitter, sequins and archival print on wood panel, 2018