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“Have you heard of Chiura Obata, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Yun Gee, Pan Yuliang, Zao Wouki, Ruth Asawa, or Theresa Hakkyung Cha? A few of them may sound familiar but most are perhaps unknown. Some of these artists were featured in The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989, which was held at the Guggenheim Museum in 2009. In the catalogue for the exhibition, one can find the critical impact of Asian art and philosophy on American artists from 1860 to 1989. Many artists in the 2009 exhibition were precursors of the ten artists featured in the current exhibition entitled the Time Zone Converter. These ten artists, five Chinese-born and five Korean-born, who all spent several decades in the United States, were selected for the China-Korea Exchange Exhibition organized by the Korean Cultural Center in Beijing....It is interesting that some artists are still bound by ‘stereotypical’ images of Korea or China, such as Woo’s Korean immigrant practitioners of martial arts or Yuanfeng’s installation of hanging scrolls. Xi Zhang and Julia Kim Smith also convey inferential semiotics of the creators being Asian. However, their livelihoods and careers in the United States facilitated them to contemplate harder on their placement in their new homes. These works were made for the audience in their adopted country to solicit a better understanding of themselves. A binary condition of ‘American meaning non-Asian’ is no longer valid. If colonial mimicry comes from the appropriation of the Other, postmodern mimicry of immigrant artists appears when displaced souls realize a cacophony of conflicting values and cultural hegemonies. Their outcries should serve as threats to ‘normalized’ knowledges and disciplinary authorities in their homeland, innate and acquired. In another three decades, one will see mimicry of their disciples as they perceive these artists as the authoritative discourse of migratory visuality.” Kyunghee Pyun, “From Immigrant to Transnational: Nostalgia for an Imagined Homeland,” Time Zone Converter, Korean Cultural Center, Beijing

PDF icon Korean Cultural Center Time Zone Converter catalog excerpt