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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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Susan Sponsler

SPE Member since 2018
Member Chapter: South Central

Assumed Identity

This body of work is titled "Assumed Identity" and consists of mixed media and photo-based images which explore autobiographic issues related to my adoption from Korea by my American caucasian parents and the relationship between my cross-cultural adoption and my experience as an Asian American.
Like Asian Americans born in the United States, Asian American adoptees experience almost total immersion in American culture. But in a multi-cultural society increasingly concerrned with developing pride in one's ethnic heritage, cross-cultural adoptees broken link to their past cul-ture via ancestry and tradition sometimes create a web of contradiction and confusion regard-ing identity.
Some of the works explore the loss of ethnic culture and genetic links using grids to fragment my past; while others use grids to blend together family photographs which document the love and attention that I have received throughout my life. These images of a loving home environ-ment are juxtaposed with images showing my conflicting feelinns in a perceived societal pres-sures to reconnect ties to the country of my birth and to my birth mother, and the frustration of being assumed a recent immigrant based on my ethnic heritage.

Assumed Identity

All American Girl I

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