Memories of Asian America
MEMORIES OF ASIAN AMERICAsenior honors thesis in media arts & sciences
advisor: david teng-olsen
In my journey learning about Asian American studies and ethnic studies, I was inspired to articulate the connectivity I experienced between historical records and present realities. Juxtaposing multiple media forms, my thesis installation takes the function and cultural significance of a living room and creates a space that represents what it means to understand my experiences in the context of a collective “memory” or history that I am a part of as a Chinese Asian American.
The audio-visual footage that I gathered over the course of the year captured my everyday interactions and experiences as authentically as possible, serving as an extension of my eyes and ears. My search for Asian American narratives began the spring prior and had become woven seamlessly into my everyday life; in the installation, I isolated instances relevant to Asian America and re-contextualized them as part of a greater narrative of Asian American history.
Video footage collected from visits to memorials, historical sites and cultural institutions played on the television. Audio recorded from candid conversations with friends and acquaintances permeated the space, and reverberated through the immediate adjacent hallways as present voices would. Images of critical parts of Asian American History that impacted my understanding of myself as an Asian American were posted on the walls.
Visitors were invited to add to this space of history and experience by writing their own thoughts, questions, or memories to adhere to the walls alongside the featured images. Below are snapshots of the walls of historical artifacts where the audience dispersed their notes.
Photos from the the gallery opening by Samara Pearlstein
Read the written portion of my thesis project →