Artwork, audio, video provided by contributors to War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art

Editor: Chris Naka
Producers: Laura Kina and Wei Ming Dariotis
Featuring excerpts of artist and author interviews with: Albert Chong, Wei Ming Dariotis, Serene Ford, Kip Fulbeck, Jane Jin Kaisen, Laura Kina, Richard Lou, Chris Naka, Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, and Adrienne Pao.

On view at the Wing Luke Museum August 8, 2013-January 19, 2014. For more info visit: http://www.warbabylovechild.com/exhibition

Jenifer Wofford was born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Her Filipina mother was born in Manila, and her European American father was born in California. Her parents met in Thailand, but didn’t date until both happened to move to San Francisco around the same time. The imagery in MacArthur Nurses is based on the famous staged photograph of General Douglas MacArthur “returning” to the Philippines in 1944 and alludes to the contemporary migration of Filipina nurses throughout theworld, especially to the United States.

Given my childhood moving around overseas, I would say that I identify as a ‘Third Culture’ kid as much as I do biracial.

DePaul University Office of Public Relations and Communication
May 16, 2013

Jane Jin Kaisen (b. 1980)
The Woman, the Orphan, and the Tiger, 2010
Single-channel video, DVCPRO 720p
75 min
By Jane Jin Kaisen in collaboration with Guston Sondin-Kung. Main contributors to the film: Grace M. Cho, Jane Jeong Trenka, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Maja Lee Langvad, Soni Kum, Tammy Chu, Nathalie-Mihee Lemoine, Nu Young Nim, Pak Chun Sung, Myung Ki Suk, Rachel, Isabel.
Courtesy of the artist

The film exposes how military and patriarchal violence against women and children became central in international geopolitical negotiations. It creates a strategic genealogy between three generations of women: the former comfort women who were subjected to sexual slavery by the Japanese military, women who have been sex workers around U.S. military bases in South Korea, and South Korean international adoptees.

Jane Jin Kaisen is a visual artist born in South Korea and adopted to Denmark in 1980. She has an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the University of California Los Angeles and is a Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program alumni. Working in a project-based manner within the mediums of film, performance, and writing, she creates multi-layered narratives that seek to renegotiate representations of memory, history, and transnational subjectivity. Kaisen has exhibited her works and screened her films in various contexts in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Beyond her individual artistic practice, she is part of the artist collective itinerant_sends_for_itinerant with Guston Sondin-Kung.

Gina Osterloh (b. 1973)
Rapture, from the Somewhere Tropical series, 2006
LightJet photograph
36 x 40 in.
Private collection

Everyone says, ‘You must be an army baby.’ My mom actually emigrated from Cebu, Philippines, to Guatemala first … She had already gotten her graduate degree in the Philippines, but it didn’t count in the States at the time.—Gina Osterloh

Gina Osterloh is the daughter of a German American father and a mother from the Philippines who met in graduate school. Somewhere Tropical, a series of staged photographs rendering “unreadable” the figure of the artist, negotiates the relationship between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional space and references concealed identities and notions of “passing,” clichéd tourist images of the tropics, war, war films, and her mother’s family history during WWII.

Albert Chong (b. 1958)
Portrait of the Artist as a Victim of Colonial Mentality, 1979/2010, 2010
Photo transfer on marble tiles
48 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist

I don’t think you can say anything meaningful with abstraction, period. There’s no way of doing the narrative; it needs representation to communicate — Albert Chong

Albert Chong’s grandfathers were Chinese and his grandmothers were Black Jamaican, and he was raised in Jamaica until he moved to New York at age nineteen. His 1979 photo, Portrait of the Artist as a Victim of Colonial Mentality, was staged with symbols of colonial oppression, and re-imagined in 2010 transferred onto marble tiles, perhaps symbolizing a solidity of presence often denied to the Black Chinese of Chong’s parents’ generation in Jamaica.

“Dream Region” by Mequitta Ahuja (2009)

Mequitta Ahuja (b. 1976)
Dream Region, 2009
Oil, enamel, acrylic, and waxy chalk on paper
78 x 104 in.
Collection of Alyssa and Gregory Shannon

Mequitta Ahuja, whose parents hail from Cincinnati and New Delhi, deploys her own image as ‘surface’ for ideas about painting, while extending her personal identity into wider cultural landscapes.—John Ewing

I identify as ethnically mixed, as Indian, as South Asian, as Black, as African American. I use all of these terms to identify myself.—Mequitta Ahuja

Through my work, I feel I can have relationships with each group on my own terms.—Mequitta Ahuja

Mequitta Ahuja received her MFA from UIC in 2003, mentored by Kerry James Marshall. Mequitta has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s 12X12, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX, BravinLee Programs in New York and Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris, France. Group exhibitions include: Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum, Houston Collects African American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Poets and Painters at the Ulrich Museum in Wichita, KS, Portraiture Now at the National Portrait Gallery and Usable Pasts at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Mequitta’s work has appeared in Modern Painters, March 2007 and Art News, February 2007. In February, 2010, Mequitta was profiled as an “Artist to Watch” in ArtNews. Holland Cotter, art critic of the New York Times, in his “last chance” article in the June 1, 2007 edition of the Times, sighting Mequitta’s NY debut exhibition Encounters, stated “Referring to the artist’s African-American and East Indian background, the pictures turn marginality into a regal condition.”

Mequitta received a 2011 Tiffany Foundation Award, a 2009 Joan Mitchell Award and a 2008 Houston Artadia Prize. Mequitta was a 2009-2010 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the 2011-2012 Stewart McMillan artist-in-residence at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Mequitta is represented in Europe by Galerie Nathalie Obadia.