Artist Statement

Artist Statement Laura Kina My artwork is about themes of distance and belonging, and I focus on the fluidity of cultural difference and the slipperiness of identity. Asian American history (specifically women's labor history and Hawai'i's sugar cane plantation history) and mixed-race representations are subjects that run through my work. In my portrait works many of my subjects employ what bell hooks calls an "oppositional gaze": they look back defiantly at the presumed viewer. My paintings start with autobiographical impulses and draw inspiration from popular culture and textile design, as well as personal and community photographic archives and oral history interviews. I collect these images, stories, and histories, and I see what is missing, what is not being told, what is not obvious, and I go hunting for it. I am interested in the overlap, fusion, disjuncture, or vibration that happens when I bring back the missing pieces and put them together. In my Hapa Soap Opera series (2002­5) I drew inspiration from vintage Bollywood movie posters to create large-scale oil paintings of love triangle narratives populated exclusively by racially ambiguous characters. The paintings, based on mixed-race Asians (aka "hapas") whom I photographed from around the United States, reflect both http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Laura Kina My artwork is about themes of distance and belonging, and I focus on the fluidity of cultural difference and the slipperiness of identity. Asian American history (specifically women's labor history and Hawai'i's sugar cane plantation history) and mixed-race representations are subjects that run through my work. In my portrait works many of my subjects employ what bell hooks calls an "oppositional gaze": they look back defiantly at the presumed viewer. My paintings start with autobiographical impulses and draw inspiration from popular culture and textile design, as well as personal and community photographic archives and oral history interviews. I collect these images, stories, and histories, and I see what is missing, what is not being told, what is not obvious, and I go hunting for it. I am interested in the overlap, fusion, disjuncture, or vibration that happens when I bring back the missing pieces and put them together. In my Hapa Soap Opera series (2002­5) I drew inspiration from vintage Bollywood movie posters to create large-scale oil paintings of love triangle narratives populated exclusively by racially ambiguous characters. The paintings, based on mixed-race Asians (aka "hapas") whom I photographed from around the United States, reflect both

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Mar 15, 2015

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