restricted access Modern, Modular, Model: Mika Tajima and a Racial Good-Enough Environment

This article reconsiders the persistent Asian American stereotype of model minority by analyzing the contemporary visual art practice of Brooklyn-based Mika Tajima through 1960s discourses of the Herman Miller Research Corporation’s Action Office furniture series, the model minority myth, and British psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott’s theory of transitional phenomena. It examines the overlapping aesthetics of modular office furniture and model minority racialization by asking: what would it mean to consider the model minority trope, alongside modular cubicle structures, as transitional objects through which one can create a “good-enough environment” and experiment with alternative forms of relating? What would it mean to play with model minority discourse as a transitional object for Asian American subject formation?