Date

2018

Department or Program

Media Arts and Sciences

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

David T. Olsen

Abstract

While observing how ethnographic practices complement oral history practices during an internship at the Museum of Chinese in America in summer 2017, I was inspired to draw from ethnographic approaches to articulate the connectivity between historical records and experienced realities in representations of history. Memories of Asian America is an installation that offers a glimpse at how I see my personal experiences as building upon a long history of the presence of Asians in America. Through multiple media forms displayed in a living room-like setting, the installation space illustrates my take on what it means to have become aware of a collective memory that I am a part of as a Chinese Asian American, and to come to understand my personal memories in the context of the collective. While the historical narrative I have chosen for the installation reflects the way I have arranged Asian American history and experience in my mind as of now, which is in terms of exclusion and othering, assimilation and the Model Minority, and resistance and activism, the viewer is free to explore it on their own terms, reflect critically, and keep in mind that collective and personal memory both are changing and impermanent.

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