Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
k. funmilayo aileru
Amber Hawk Swanson
You are cordially (un)invited: My Korean Femme Strategy and Aspiration for Survival and Queer Futures documents a series of ceremonies dedicated to the years I have survived. This book has branched from a project of the same name that consists of a durational installation, performance, and series of events. The project and book are an aspirational gesture to send off the part of myself–that had to compromise, comply, and negotiate with institutions–for a rebirth to live a life beyond survival.
As a book and project, You are cordially (un)invited is a culmination of my experiences as a Korean femme, using 눈치(noonchi) to navigate myself through an institution and its pedagogy built to uphold a wealthy white-cis-hetero culture. It also encompasses navigating the U.S. immigration system while seeking agency amidst expectations, rules, and legal responsibilities that are tied to the support of such institutions.
The project entails an installation in which I reflect on my time in RISD’s graduate program by visually interweaving my thoughts, experiences, belongings, gifts, references, photos, writings, and documentation, including elements from my community-specific project Practice Complaint!. Following the installation, a three-day funeral party is held to mourn and celebrate with invited guests. This funeral party is an ode to my close memory of a Korean funeral: three consecutive days of eating, drinking, and playing games throughout each night as a remembrance of the deceased and support to grieving loved ones.
As a practice of care: snacks, food, tea, and non-alcoholic beverages will be shared on-site with the invited guests. Guests are welcome to explore, feel, and talk. For the duration of the event, You are cordially (un)invited is only accessible to these invited guests.
Through the process of making the book, I am commemorating the material and immaterial remnants from both this new project and the previous project Practice Complaint!
Kim, Nahyun, "You are cordially (un)invited: My Korean Femme Strategy and Aspiration for Survival and Queer Futures" (2023). Masters Theses. 1175.
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