Jung Min VS MFA Thesis 2015
DIRTY THOUGHTS ON THE AMBIGUOUS BODY: Identity, Culture, and Eroticism
My work explores feelings of ambivalence about sexuality, gender identity, and the body as I negotiate my experience moving between Korean and U.S. culture. Generally speaking, the space in which I reside is a great influence in the formation of my thoughts and beliefs. Specifically, I am interested in the impact of a country’s society, which includes culture and history. I’ve never felt like I belong in society. I often question if I even want to feel “belonging.” Through my art practice, I intend to elaborate on my uncomfortable feelings towards navigating these societies, which have had an impact on the development of my identity. In the process of finding my identity, a rebellious nature helps to define my conduct as I work with the influences of the culture and society in which I live. Furthermore, I want to delve deeper into the experience of tightrope walking between Eastern and Western cultures.
Using my experience of familiarity and unfamiliarity from moving between two cultures, I will bridge differences in the understanding of sexuality in Korea and the U.S. as a source to explore how ambiguity and humor can be used in my work and the work of other artists. I am talking about sexuality as a main subject in my work because it is considered a taboo in my culture. By making fun of the subject, I am taking control over the power in taboo in order to create a dialog around sexuality and its restricted quality in my culture; and to have the viewer question their cultural biases and expectations. Through this act of looking, viewers acknowledge their own body and achieve a more honest self-perception.