New Media Artspace presents ‘kate-hers RHEE: Inventing Genealogies’


V21 Artspace | Wikimedia Commons

Rebecca DiSaverio

Baruch College’s New Media Artspace presents a new online and interactive exhibition, “kate-hers RHEE: Inventing Genealogies.” There are many choices that viewers can make along the way, which creates their path through this exhibit. The viewers’ preferences resemble the struggles and choices artist RHEE had to make in finding her identity. The design was created by the New Media Artspace Student Docent Team, who set the gallery up to resemble DNA.

At the bottom of each page, the viewers can slide down and read the appendix, which is scrambled to resemble speaking to a non-native speaker. The hardship in RHEE’s story is symbolized throughout this gallery that allows a whole new sense of understanding.

RHEE was an orphan who was sent to America to be adopted, but in doing so, she lost all ties to her Korean heritage. She decided to take on a process called “Transkoreaning,” which is moving to South Korea for 90 days to indulge in the culture and become Korean in any way possible, as she put it.

RHEE did not hide from showing her raw emotions. On day 45, she expressed her struggles in Korean and stated, “No matter how hard I try, I just keep failing.” She teared up, explaining the pain and suffering that went through.

This story was documented by her on social media and has now transitioned into this gallery. As one can imagine, to jump into a new language, culture, mannerisms and more would not be an easy process for anyone. Yet, she fought her way to complete this journey.

The “kate-hers RHEE: Inventing Genealogies” exhibit will be running from Oct. 4 through Dec. 3.