Definitive Hapa Japan Books To Launch In LA

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-02-26 23:37Z by Steven

Definitive Hapa Japan Books To Launch In LA

Kaya Press
Los Angeles, California
2017-02-15

Kaya Press is thrilled to announce the official publication of Hapa Japan: History Vol. 1 and Hapa Japan: History Vol. 2 edited by Duncan Ryūken Williams.

Described by Ruth Ozeki as “essential reading for all citizens of our transcultural, transnational, boundless, borderless, beautifully mixed-up world,” these volumes bring together scholarship on the rich historical and contemporary experiences and representations of global Hapa Japanese…

Read the entire press release here.

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Hapa Japan: History (Volume 2)

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2017-02-26 22:17Z by Steven

Hapa Japan: History (Volume 2)

Kaya Press
2017-02-28
400 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781885030542

Edited by:

Duncan Ryūken Williams, Associate Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Southern California

The film Kiku and Isamu (1959) was one of the first cinematic depictions of mixed-race children in postwar Japan, telling the story of two protagonists facing abandonment by two different Black GI fathers and ostracism from Japanese society. Bringing together studies of the representations of the Hapa Japanese experience in culture, Hapa Japan: Identities & Representations (Volume 2) tackles everything from Japanese and American films like Kiku and Isamu to hybrid graphic novels featuring mixed-race characters. From Muslim Japanese-Pakistani children in a Tokyo public school to “Blasian” youth at the AmerAsian School close to a US military base in Okinawa, the Hapa experience is multiple, and its cultural representations accordingly are equally diverse. This anthology is the first publication to attempt to map this wide range of Hapa representations in film, art and society.

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The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Live Events, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2017-02-24 00:49Z by Steven

The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
2016-12-08

Laura Kina
Telephone: 773-325-4048; E-Mail: cmrsmixedrace@gmail.com

LOS ANGELES, CA – The fourth Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, “Explorations in Trans (gender, gressions, migrations, racial) Fifty Years After Loving v. Virginia,” will bring together academics, activists, and artists from across the US and abroad to explore the latest developments in critical mixed race studies. The Conference will be held at The University of Southern California from February 24-26, 2017 at the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center, 3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089 and is hosted by the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture.

The conference will include over 50 panels, roundtables, and caucus sessions organized by the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association as well as feature film screenings and live performances organized by the non-profit Mixed Roots Stories. The conference is pleased to run concurrently with the Hapa Japan Festival February 22- 26, 2017.

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage legal. With a focus on the root word “Trans” this conference explores interracial encounters such as transpacific Asian migration, transnational migration from Latin America, transracial adoption, transracial/ethnic identity, the intersections of trans (gendered) and mixed race identity, and mixed race transgressions of race, citizenship, and nation…

Read the entire press release here. View the program guide here.

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Uchinanchu: The Art of Laura Kina

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-09-28 20:35Z by Steven

Uchinanchu: The Art of Laura Kina

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture
California Lutheran University
120 Memorial Parkway
Thousand Oaks, California 91360
2016-05-23

On view: June 10–October 30, 2016
Artist’s Talk: Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 6 p.m. PDT


Image: Laura Kina, Hello Kitty, acrylic on canvas and denim, assorted fabrics, t-shirts from the artist’s daughter Midori Aronson, 57 x 56 inches, 2015.

Uchinanchu is the term for Okinawan immigrants and their descendants from the Japanese island living in Hawai’i. This exhibit presents patchwork and textile-based paintings by Laura Kina through moving autobiographical pieces that examine mixed race identities, indigenous communities, colonization, and globalized pop culture–all in the form of traditional craft practices. Images feature deconstructed articles of clothing, from fleeting moments and memories of specific events to time-honored symbols.

Kina explains,

“My artwork focuses on themes of distance, belonging and cultural reclamation… Taken together, the works are about islands of diaspora and explore themes of transnational family ties and heritage tourism, mixed-ness, ethnic pride and solidarity, military and colonial histories, and current geopolitical military/environment issues in Okinawa and Hawai’i.”

Kina is Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design at DePaul University in Chicago and co-founder of the biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies conference. She co-authored War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013) and acts as reviews editor for Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas. She is working on a forthcoming anthology Queering Contemporary Asian American Art. Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Japanese American National Museum.

For more information, click here.

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FACING FORWARD: A Panel Discussion on Mixed-Race/Ethnic Japanese Americans and Community

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-19 02:48Z by Steven

FACING FORWARD: A Panel Discussion on Mixed-Race/Ethnic Japanese Americans and Community

Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago
4427 N. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60640
2016-07-19, 18:30-20:00 CDT (Local Time)

The Japanese American Service Committee Legacy Center Presents A “Memories of Now” Seminar Series Presentation

Co-sponsored by the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society (CJAHS) and the Japanese American Citizens League – Chicago Chapter (JACL-Chicago)

Featured Panelists:

  • Jackie Keiko Denofrio
  • Laura Kina
  • Erik Matsunaga
  • Christine Munteanu

For more information, click here.

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From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-08-31 17:42Z by Steven

From Okinawa to Hawaii and Back Again

What It Means to Be American: Hosted by The Smithsonian and Zócalo Public Square
2015-08-31

Laua Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois


Kibei Nisei, 30 x 45 inches Oil on canvas (2012)

A Painter Follows the Currents of Her Family History

I am a hapa, yonsei Uchinanchu (a mixed-race, 4th-generation Okinawan-American) who was born in Riverside, California, in 1973 and raised in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. My mom’s roots stem from Spanish-Basque migrants in California and white southerners in Tennessee. My father is Okinawan from Hawaii. Because I don’t look quite white, people frequently ask, “What are you?” From an early age, even though Hawaii and Japan were enigmas to me, I have had to explain my relationship to these “exotic” places.

Growing up, we lived by my mother’s family and visited her parents weekly at their road-side motel near a Puget Sound ferry landing, but I knew little about my father’s childhood, an ocean away, on a Piihonua sugarcane plantation near Hilo. I got a glimpse on occasional vacations to visit family on the Big Island of Hawaii or my aunties in Los Angeles. The only other traces were evident in the Spam in our sushi, the fact that we called instant ramen noodles saimin, and in the echoes of Pidgin English in Dad’s accent that refused to be erased.

I am a painter, and at the heart of my paintings is the journey I’ve been on to understand how these different currents have formed my American experience. I’ve followed their flow back in time to the canefields of Territorial Hawaii and early 20th-century Okinawa, Japan…

Read the entire article here.

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Laura Kina

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive on 2015-04-22 20:22Z by Steven

Laura Kina

Fused Society
2015-04-16

Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

Meet today’s Fused Society contributor, the accomplished Laura Kina!

“Laura Kina is a multiracial Asian American artist based in Chicago who identifies as “hapa, yonsei, and Unchinanchu” (mixed race, 4th generation Japanese American, and part of the Okinawan diaspora). Her father is Okinawan from Hawaiʻi and her mother is Anglo American (Spanish/Basque and French, English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch) from the Pacific Northwest. Kina’s artwork, scholarly research and activism center on themes of distance and belonging. She focuses on the fluidity of cultural difference and the slipperiness of identity. Asian American history and mixed race representations are subjects that run through her work.

Kina is a Vincent de Paul professor of Art, Media, & Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor, along with Wei Ming Dariotis, of War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013); cofounder of the DePaul biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies conference; and cofounder and consulting editor of the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and reviews editor for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas

Read the entire article here.

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LAURA KINA Blue Hawai’i

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2015-04-07 00:46Z by Steven

LAURA KINA Blue Hawai’i

The Brooklyn Rail: Critical Perspectives on Arts, Politics, and Culture
Brooklyn, New York
2015-04-02

Jonathan Goodman

HAROLD B. LEMMERMAN GALLERY, NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY JANUARY 27 – MARCH 3, 2015

As an Asian-American painter of mixed background, Laura Kina creates work that is as culturally relevant as it is emotionally resonant. Her father, who is of Japanese descent, grew up in Hawai’i, where he worked on sugarcane plantations before moving to the American mainland to become a doctor. In the compelling paintings shown in Blue Hawai’i, Kina addresses the persistence of Japanese culture among the sugarcane workers, many of whom, like the artist’s father, had family ties to the Japanese island Okinawa. In 2009, Kina and her father traveled to his plantation community in Hawai’i to gain a sense of his past; then, in 2012, Kina and her father traveled to Okinawa itself, again to research the immigration of poor Japanese who came to Hawai’i to harvest cane. The paintings on view in Blue Hawai’i allude to her discoveries, which entail both the remnants of Japanese habits among the Hawaiian workers—the word “blue” in the title of the show refers to the blue kimonos refashioned for plantation work—and the gradual, often troubled and troubling acculturation process. The exhibition consequently bridges inevitable feelings of displacement and loss with the desire to document Kina’s father’s past…

Read the entire review here.

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Laura Kina: Blue Hawai’i

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2015-02-18 02:58Z by Steven

Laura Kina: Blue Hawai’i

Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery
New Jersey City University
Hepburn Hall, Room 323
2039 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, New Jersey

2015-01-27 through 2015-03-03
Artist Reception: 2015-01-29, 16:30-19:30 EST (Local Time)
Artist Talk: 2015-03-02, 17:30-18:30 EST (Local Time)


Laura Kina, Canefield Workers, 2013, oil on canvas, 30 x 45 inches.

“You won’t find Elvis or surfboards or funny umbrella-topped cocktails in my dystopic Blue Hawai’i.” The Chicago-based artist Laura Kina speaks of her latest series of paintings which are featured in this exhibition. Drawn from her family albums, oral history and community archives, Kina’s ghostly oil paintings employ distilled memories to investigate themes of distance, longing, and belonging. The setting of these paintings is her father’s Okinawan sugarcane field plantation community, Piʻihonua, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi near Hilo. The predominant blue color of the series was inspired by the indigo-dyed kasuri kimonos repurposed by the Issei (first generation) “picture bride” immigrants for canefield work clothes. Blue Hawaiʻi echoes the spirits of Kina’s ancestors and shared histories of labor migration.

In 2009, Kina accompanied her father back to his hometown community in Hawaiʻi to interview him along with other Nisei (second generation) and Sansei (third generation) about their memories of plantation life. In 2012, she traveled to Okinawa with her father, collecting stories of heritage and history. She learned of her grandmother and great aunts having been Kibei Nisei, i.e., sent to Japan for their education and that in the devastation of WWII and the Battle of Okinawa, four family members were killed–two by forced suicide.

As U.S. relatives ceased to use the Okinawan dialect of Uchinaguchi or standard Japanese, stories like these were lost. In Blue Hawaiʻi, Kina seeks to reclaim these histories via reanimated traces from old photographs and present-day vestiges visible in paintings such as “Okinawa—All American Food” and “Black Market,” which capture the remnants of war and a continued American military presence in contemporary Okinawa. Risking distortion, misreading, nostalgia and erasure, the artist fully engages in, what she calls, “the messy business” of memory, collapsing time and space into one Blue Hawaiʻi.

Laura Kina is Vincent de Paul professor of Art, Media, & Design at DePaul University. She is the coeditor, along with Wei Ming Dariotis, of War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013); cofounder of the DePaul biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies conference; and cofounder and consulting editor of the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and reviews editor for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas.

Her solo exhibitions include Blue Hawaii (2014), Sugar (2010), A Many-Splendored Thing (2010), Aloha Dreams (2007), Loving (2006), and Hapa Soap Operas (2003). She has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, India Habitat Centre, Nehuru Art Centre, Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, the Rose Art Museum, the Spertus Museum, the University of Memphis, and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

For more about the exhibition, view an on-line catalog here.

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Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-21 20:38Z by Steven

Talking about Critical Mixed Race Studies in the Wake of Ferguson

University of Washington Press Blog
2015-01-21

Laura Kina, Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

In this guest post, Laura Kina, coeditor of War Baby / Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art, discusses the emerging discipline of mixed race studies and what it can contribute to ongoing dialogues surrounding race, police brutality, and social justice in the wake of Ferguson.

Since the deaths this past summer of two unarmed black men, Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York by white police officers, our nation has been embroiled in discussions of police brutality and racial profiling. The social unrest and racial tensions of our current moment are a stark contrast to the congratulatory “post-racial” moment in 2008 with the election of President Barack Obama–the first black “biracial” president. Recent racial tensions also present stark contrast to the celebration of the multiracial “melting pot” that America celebrated following the 2000 US Census, which allowed individuals to self-identify as more than one race for the first time.

Those earlier, problematic readings of race—as something to either get beyond or as something new and worthy of celebration—coupled with the dearth of history and representations of mixed race Asian American lives inspired my coauthor Wei Ming Dariotis and I to publish War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). Along with my DePaul colleague Camilla Fojas, we also set out to challenge these myths and establish a scholarly field of Critical Mixed Race Studies

Read the entire article here.

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