How can BIPOC immigrants, with histories of colonization in their homelands, and with lived experiences of racism in their new homes, situate themselves within Canadian conversations around decolonization and social justice? In this thought-provoking conversation moderated by ROM curator Vicki Kwon, literature and Korean diaspora studies scholar Christine Kim and visual artist Diana Yoo discuss the nuances of Korean experiences in Canada within the context of national identity and contemporary discussions around Indigenous experiences.
Focusing on representations of Korean experiences in Canadian visual art, including Yoo’s photographic series Inconveniences – which uses convenience stores to examine ways in which immigrant labour is commodified and stereotyped – and Dr. Kim’s work about the complex realities of BIPOC and immigrant experiences, our scholars explore ways these experiences can add much-needed nuance to Canadian conversations around immigration, settlers, and colonial histories.
Dr. Vicki Sung-yeon Kwon
Dr. Vicki Sung-yeon Kwon is Associate Curator of Korean Art and Culture at ROM. She is currently working on a book project that examines Korean feminist art activism from transnational perspectives and exhibitions on Korean Canadian diasporic artists.
Dr. Christine Kim
Dr. Christine Kim is Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia and editor of the journal Canadian Literature. Her research and teaching focuses on Asian North American literature and theory, diaspora studies, and cultural studies.
Diana Yoo is a Korean Canadian artist and educator. Currently pursuing her Ph.D. at York University, her intersectional identity as a second-generation, Korean Canadian, racialized female artist is foundational to her self-reflexive autobiographical research. By undertaking an artistic project on the representation of trauma in the history of race and colonialism in Canada, Yoo’s art utilizes the gallery platform to generate ethical-political visions of social justice.
Recorded October 17, 2023