Abstract

Abstract:

Within a context where Korean identity is continually suppressed, the minutiae of material life—family photographs, diary entries, letters, official government documents—gain significance where they might otherwise be overlooked. Poet and visual artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha regathers these materials to redefine boundaries in the diaspora. Against a backdrop of exile and separation from Korea, her mother tongue, and extended family, Cha interrogates the role materiality plays in shaping identity, memory, and the past and future, by using mundane cultural artifacts and (re)production techniques, especially photocopying (or xerography), to create documents that subvert or expand their original function. In the two-tonal medium of xerography, Cha literally challenges black-and-white notions about Korean identity, creating sites of self-possession from which she contends with exile, history, and materiality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1520
Print ISSN
0732-1562
Pages
pp. 31-47
Launched on MUSE
2019-04-19
Open Access
No
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