I am a Korean American. This is not unique, but my exploration of how I fit into the world is unique. I strive to represent both cultures equally and to fit into each one in all aspects of my life. Through my practice of art, I explore the emotional challenges I face in being a cross- cultural individual, of losing one culture, and in needing to adjust to new and different culture.
My educational experience at the Rochester Institute of Technology has been a time to explore what it means to try to fit into two different cultures and to address the challenges I face by not fitting into either one. I am drawn to the idea of physical space and belonging, thus I utilize landscape as a way to create my own environment. This is evolving to be an abstract self- portrait. I create chaos and use many visual influences through color, texture, and form.
The thesis work that I have created was part of a process of discovery of how I fit into
two cultures. The work is a way for me to address the loss I have experienced, as well as the gift I have gained in joining a forever family. Through this thesis exhibition, I have created a sense of acceptance as a cross-cultural human being.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Painting--Themes, motives; Painting--Technique; Korean Americans--Ethnic identity--Pictorial works
Fine Arts Studio (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Art (CIAS)
Simonson, Rachel, "Milieu" (2016). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus