A Walk in Their Shoes

The Progress

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How dare she? At first glance Korean American artist Nikki S. Lee may come off as a mockery. She explores the subject of identity through photography. In her seminal series titled “Projects,” you see her disguised as a member of a number of American sub-cultures and social identities: senior citizen, Korean school girl, swing dancer, lesbian, exotic dancer, and a skate boarder, amongst many others. Above you see her as a Latina woman. I was slightly offended when I saw her portraying a black woman with corn rows chillin’ wit da homies, or squeezed between her two home girls with a face full of exaggerated makeup. I questioned whether or not she was just posing for fun, or if there was a deeper meaning. To understand her better, I watched a short clip where she, in her native Korean language, talked about her artwork. She talked…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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