Posts tagged ‘IDAAS public art project’

INSIGHTS Unveiled at the 5C Ethnic Studies Open House

INSIGHTS installation view

INSIGHTS installation view

Students viewing the installation at the IDAAS Open House

Students viewing the installation at the IDAAS Open House

Viewing the installation

Viewing the installation

Detail shot of installation

Detail shot of installation


Artist Yong Soon Min with students Sam Pang, Diana Dao, and Evyn Espiritu

October 10, 2009 at 8:01 pm Leave a comment

Updates and New Design on IDAAS Public Art Commission

Floor plan of project, orange area indicates location of art work


Project Design


INSIGHTS by Yong Soon Min

The title refers to the operations of the site as well as the content. The project involves the interactions between two surfaces that are part of the IDAAS center. The first that viewers encounter is the window that is located next to the entrance. The other surface is the wall that is located adjacent to the entrance and can be seen through the window.

When viewers look at the WINDOW, they will see colorful circles that are composed of words. Upon closer inspection, they will notice that the circular texts are also sentences that they can follow from one end to the other. Each circle is a full sentence; smaller circles – shorter sentences, larger – longer sentences. These sentences will be made of self-adhesive vinyl lettering that will be attached to the window. The type size will be about 50 pts which is easily legible.

The WALL will be painted black and decorated with circular patterns of differently sized mirrors and CDs (iridescent side of the discs). Depending on their vantage point, viewers standing in front of the wall can see various reflections on the mirror, including the colored text of the window (in the right orientation. That is to say, the text can be read properly when standing outside the IDAAS room looking in and also reflected on the mirrors.).

The window texts are a collection of insights or inspirational saying that we live by. I’ve listed a sampling of these expressions below. Some specifically address Asian American issues and experience, some are by authors of other ethnicities, others are lyrics from songs, and others are fortune cookie sayings.

I invite students, faculty and staff of IDAAS to contribute to this project. Your selection of inspirational words should ideally be one sentence long, not to exceed three. We are seeking proverbs or sayings that are thought-provoking with wit and relevance. The more succinct and pithy the expression, the better. These words can be taken from various sources, although those that pertain to Asian American concerns will be especially appreciated. Please be sure to note the author of the saying. A legend that identifies the authors or originators of the sayings will be displayed near the project. This is an opportunity to share with the public insights that are particularly inspirational and meaningful to you.

All suggestions for quotes should be submitted to Ming-Yuen S. Ma via email by Friday, September 4. Final selection of quotes will be done by the artist and Prof Ma.

Send quotes to:

Sample of “Insights”

Dissonance is our way of life in America, we are something apart, yet an integral part. –Duke Ellington

Language is also a place of struggle – Bell Hooks

Within our society, there are hierarchies of need because there have been hierarchies of oppression. –Martha P. Cotera

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives. –Toni Morrison

Migration is the story of my body.—Victor Herandez Cruz

As a Vietnamese refugee who became an American writer, I can tell you that you matter, that your sadness matters, the story of how you survived and triumphed matters. For every story that belongs to you, in time, belongs to America. –Andrew Lam

History has determined our lives, and we must work hard for what we believe to be the right thing, life is something we borrow and must give back when the time comes – Carlos Bulosan

I am a poor man from a poor country, so I have to be entertaining every second. –Nam Jun Paik

Anecdotes,/The poor man’s history.—Rita Dove

America is filled with people whose histories have deep and complicated roots. Their stories give us alternative views to the grand narrative of Western European progress, modernization, and enlightenment. Often, they directly contradict the fiction the United States tells about itself as a nation as benevolent abroad and inclusive at home. –-Elaine Kim

All History is current; all injustice continues on some level, somewhere in the world. – Alice Walker

Keep speaking — it is real. You have a voice. –Chang-rae Lee

Why does BC stand for Before Christ? Why is it not Before Confucius? — Joe Fong

I learned to make my mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes. –Maxine Hong Kingston

The bridge of their Enterprise, however, may now have a Klingon on board as the symbol of galactic coexistence, but at least a third of the population of our world and certainly the twenty-fourth century was absent. There were no Asians on their bridge. –George Takei

Freud is Filipino –-Sarita See

I don’t think there will ever be a time when people will stop wanting to bring about change. –Yuri Kochiyama

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. –Audre Lorde

It was hard for me to do All American Girl because a lot of people didn’t even understand the concept of Asian-American. I was on a morning show, and the host said, ‘Awright, Margaret, we’re changing over to an ABC affiliate! So why don’t you tell our viewers “in your native language” that we’re making that transition?’ So I looked at the camera and said, ‘Um, they’re changing over to an ABC affiliate.’ -–Margaret Cho

When I was 7, I got my first job working in [a] garment factory, and I learned firsthand why they called the place a ‘sweatshop,’ … I like to say I was taught in public school, but I was educated in a sweatshop. –John Liu

If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.–Bruce Lee

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.–Dalai Lama

Don’t gain the world and loose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold. — Bob Marley

Innocence is drowned in anarchy. The best lack conviction given time to think, and the worst are full of passion without mercy. – Joni Mitchell
Gotta start teaching the children that they can be just what they want to be, there’s much more to life than poverty. — 2 Pac

When the world is on your shoulder, got to straighten up your act and boogie down. — Michael Jackson

All in all is all we all are. –- Nirvana

Love is real, real is love, love is feeling, feeling love. — John Lennon

The space age is running out of distance. –- Beck

I gave you a wrist-watch, baby, and you wouldn’t even give me the time of day. — Patti Smith

I make your whole thang twang. –- Funkadelic

Touch, touch, touch, touch me love, I’m shaking inside. –-Yoko Ono

If you want the rainbow you must put up with the rain. –- fortune cookie

Harder the floor, higher the ping-pong ball bounces. –- fortune cookie

A scholar’s ink lasts longer than a martyr’s blood. –- fortune cookie

You are better off not knowing how sausages and laws are made. -– fortune cookie

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. –- fortune cookie

August 31, 2009 at 5:58 am 2 comments

Presentation and Discussion of P.O.P./Cultural Intimacies on Wedensday, 2/18, 7pm, BH210

Visual artist Yong Soon Min will present her ideas for her public art project, commissioned for the IDAAS (Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies) space, on Wednesday, February 18, at 7pm in Broad Hall Room 210 on Pitzer’s campus.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion of the project, and ways for the community to participate and provide input.  The presentation/discussion is a part of MS100 Asian Americans in Media that is open to the public, and will probably go till 8:30-9pm.

Posted by Ming-Yuen S. Ma

February 11, 2009 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

IDAAS Public Art Project: P.O.P./Cultural Intimacies by Yong Soon Min

Installation view of Movement by Yong Soon Min, 2008

Installation view of Movement by Yong Soon Min, 2008

Call for Participants from the Claremont/IDAAS Community:

P.O.P./Cultural Intimacies is a public art project by Korean American artist Yong Soon Min, commissioned for the IDAAS space in the Lincoln Building, and anticipated to be completed by Fall Semester of this year.  The artist invites all members – students, faculty, staff, supporters – of the IDAAS community to participate in the conception and creation of the project.

For the IDAAS commission, I aim to produce a site related installation that incorporates sound and images to reconsider portraiture.  Instead of the more conventional representation of visage or physical likeness, these portraits reflect how a particular subject is constituted historically and socially, as well as by desire, by taste, by empathy. Specifically, these portraits will be based on the (digital) playlists of songs remixed with images from a favorite moving images culled from Asian pop sources, selected by the portrait subjects.

I hope to engage the help of students at the Claremont Colleges and look upon this project as an opportunity to think about how our sense of ourselves is marked not only by cultural and generational difference, but also by access (i.e. to technology, to tradition, to translation). I am interested not so much in who we think we are but who we are trying to become. What moves us? What do/can we share? What are points of convergence and divergence between communities? Is it possible for us to know ourselves better through an encounter with another, and our tastes in popular culture?

The project is rooted in my interest in the “Korean Wave” phenomenon that represents a stunning exception to the general understanding that soft power (of culture) is contingent upon or derived from nations with established hard power, i.e., the coupled political and economic power.  Given this precept, Korea has unexpectedly attained notable status in which its cultural exports in Asia promote a notion of the “Korean Dream,” positioning Korea as a developmental model for lesser-developed countries. The prominence of the Korean Wave in Asia followed on the heals of Japan’s reigning position in the marketing of cultural influence during the nineties. To many Asians, a notion of cultural proximity places Korea and Japan, rather than the West, as a more palatable translator of modernity and the modern life style.  Transnational flows of Asian popular culture coupled with the profound influence of new internet technologies in collapsing geographic distance and boundaries can be said to give rise to constructions of new Asian subjectivities both within Asia as well as within Asian diasporic communities.  These developments signal a seismic shift from the previous, deeply entrenched Euro-American “gaze” to a more overlapping and multidirectional flow of culture.

Detail of Movement by Yong Soon Min, 2008

Detail of Movement by Yong Soon Min, 2008


The production of the project will be facilitated through the Asian Americans in Media (MS100PZ) class.  You can participate in the following ways:

  • Enroll in the class and work with Yong Soon Min in developing the project as a part of your course work (this option will fulfill a number of community-based learning requirements for the Asian American Studies, Media Studies, and Pitzer Social Responsibility requirements)
  • Work with student liaisons from MS100 and instructor Ming-Yuen S. Ma to participate in the project.
  • Attend the two public presentations and meetings where ideas and formats for the project will be discussed.  These will take place on Wednesday nights during MS100 class meeting time.  The dates will be announced on this blog.
  • Keep track of developments on the project through this blog.  You can use the “comments” section to provide feedback.

Link to more information and documentation of Movement

For more information, contact Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Posted by Yong Soon Min and Ming-Yuen S. Ma

January 22, 2009 at 12:28 am Leave a comment


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