MERGED

Photography, graphic design

MERGE
2015

MERGED aims to complicate the idea of intergenerational relationships by incorporating themes of race, ethnicity, and mixedness through familial ties.

Overview

MERGED aims to complicate the idea of intergenerational relationships by incorporating themes of race, ethnicity, and mixedness through familial ties.

Results

MERGED aims to complicate the idea of intergenerational relationships by incorporating themes of race, ethnicity, and mixedness through familial ties.

Mural design included black & white portraits with excerpts from each person's story represented through expressive typographical forms

I worked with MERGE, the Multi Ethnic and Racial Group Exchange, at the Claremont Colleges to take portraits and design a large-scale typographic mural for display at an art gallery opening.

Often, mixed individuals and families portrayed through portraits and stories are used to indicate a 'post-racial future' or an anthropological curiosity. This can prove isolating for mixed individuals who may not share looks, language, or customs with family, despite sharing blood.

To challenge this notion of representation, we decided to emphasize the intimate generational & familial relationships through the power of words.

"Would you recognize me? Your brown-eyed, brown-skinned, brown-souled great granddaughter who has never known the motherland and never known the mother-tongue?"

“My white, European grandmother gave me this blond-haired, blue-eyed doll for Christmas when I was two. I wonder if she ever thought about the fact that I would never have a child who looked like that. Growing up in the 1940s, did she ever imagine she’d have a granddaughter who looks like me?”

"With no one else sharing my phenotype and no claim to a past of a specific people to ground myself in the accepted historical narratives, being mixed has often felt like I’m an alien on Earth."

"Thank you for never asking me to split my identity."

"To everyone who's ever asked, "What are you?", here's my answer. I am my mom's laughter and my dad's sense of humor. I am her lullabies and his honky-tonk guitar chords. I have her sense of taste and his eye for detail. I am generations of refined recipes, family secrets, and inside jokes. Fully. Wholly, Completely."

It was truly a humbling experience to work with such a diverse group of genuine and creative people to develop a moving artwork navigating the personal, the social, and the political.