Conversation with Wendy Hui Kyong Chun in Art in America
I spoke with the media theorist Wendy Hui Kyong Chun about whiteness, race, and how my work examines these in infinitely generating frames. The edited conversation, “Whiteness and Software”, is in the September issue of Art in America.
CHUN Have you ever thought about global whiteness in relation to K-pop? There’s a critique of how plastic surgery is used within certain Asian cultures, as with K-pop stars, that what they’re trying to imitate isn’t necessarily the reality of whiteness. Does this phenomenon resonate with the reception of your work?
KUO People outside the United States tend to recognize not necessarily what is signified in my work, but more the mode of address. In OK., you’re being talked at rather than engaging in a conversation: a global power dynamic.
The South Korean government has heavily promoted K-pop as an export. It’s packaged to be legible globally, and you can easily get into K-pop knowing nothing about Korean culture. Similarly, in my work, I’m using forms that have also been designed for legibility.
Thank you to Wendy for the very thoughtful response to my work, and to Emily Watlington for the invitation.