Assimilation and immigrant struggles

Aaron Kim

As Am 115


Assimilation and the ability to adapt to a foreign or unrecognized culture are possibly two of the most important aspects within the community of immigrants or participants of diaspora. Sung Ho Choi, an Asian American contemporary artist who incorporates mix media sculpture and installation art into his works, dedicates his piece “My America” into bringing in light his experiences of assimilation. I thought Choi’s pieces reflected on our readings and discussion upon diaspora, and U.S representation of a melting pot of cultures. His work My America contains mix media, pictures cut out and pasted that symbolized the American history that immigrants themselves can recognize and confine to. Take for example the L.A. Riots: immigrants from Mexico, China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and more living in L.A, all experienced the chaos and hardships of the riot. Choi also implements other variety of cultures and histories such as wars, religion, social events, sports, past times, and peoples that promote to the diversity of America.

Within our readings of the texts that we covered couple of weeks of Margo Machida’s Unsettled Visions, Dr. Said explains that war, something prominent within Asian cultures, influenced Asian American artists and their styles as well as their message reflected upon their works. It’s pretty good to hear that there are Asian American artists out there that expose histories and even remind people of their cultures. And in a sense, the awareness can also expose the racism and discrimination against Asian Americans explicit and implicitly. In a sense Choi is advocating for a cultural unity. He wants America’s unique characteristic of a melting pot as a strength and not as a weakness.¬†

In final summation, I did particularly enjoyed researching about Choi Sung Ho and how he contributed towards helping people fully understand the hardships of assimilation. This midterm also exposed my knowledge into other depths of art such as contemporary art using Asian material such as rice. It made me understand that art can be perceived different both objectively and subjectively.


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