Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Steven Smith

Second Advisor

Sunhay You

Third Advisor

Zhidong Zhang


Mistranslated is an essay based on my research on the patriarchal structure that is inherent in the translation, and an attempt to challenge them through the perspective of a colored woman with a transnational background. I focus on the cognition of cultural identity that is otherwise a subject of oblivion when living in a homogenous nation. Moving between countries that predominantly share the same racial ethnicity and languages, I began to be categorized with the modifier only after I stepped into dynamics of the diasporic community – America. As my presence of cultural identity becomes increasingly apparent after being positioned in a cosmopolitan society, I try to resolve the confusion made by the irony of the marginalized self living in a ‘broader’ world.

One of my strategies is to go back to language. As much as it has been explored as a field of study, it is prominent that language is the primary tool for not only communication, but also the way to see and understand even the most basic element of the world. The act of translating and the confusion it brings about allow me to draw the connection between my status as an Asian woman and translation, in which they are defined as not of ‘subject’, but rather ‘the other’. This thesis challenges to subvert this canon by blurring the conventions of translation, which ultimately provides different perceptions to each individual based on their experiences.


View exhibition online: Renee Cha, Happy Days

Included in

Photography Commons



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