Young-Ji Cho
multimedia creative looking for her next opportunity

Blog

Beginnings

Dear reader,

Welcome to my blog! Whether you've stumbled here through some happy internet accident or you've clicked yourself here intentionally, I'm so happy you're here. For the next year or so, I'd like to use this space to document my journey of producing a studio art thesis. I'm hoping that putting down my thoughts and recording the process will allow me to constantly reflect on and organize my work and ultimately deepen the way others, and even myself, can understand the final product.

So what's my thesis about? I will be creating a series of children's picture books on Asian-American figures that we typically have not had the chance to learn about in school. I want to work with picture books because they are visual representations within literature, thus merging my two areas of interest and study.

Now let me give you some background. Last year, I took a primer course to Children's Literature. While I highly enjoyed the course and greatly respect the professor, I noticed the Asian/Asian-American narrative was completely missing from the curriculum and course material. This really speaks to the larger world of publishing in general and how few books there are still that are written by/about people of color.

I truly believe that it is important for children to be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the visual and literary mediums they consume, especially at such a young age when their thoughts and beliefs about the self and the world are so malleable.

I thought back to my elementary school days and tried to remember how many individuals, if any at all, I had learned about in history class who had looked like me or shared my background. There were none. The brief time our textbooks mentioned Asian-American history, it was something like broad government policies regarding the Chinese Exclusion Act or general statements about the Japanese internment camps. There are so many interesting, inspiring Asian-AMERICAN figures out there who deserve to be highlighted in AMERICAN history, for children like me and not like me to read about and be motivated and excited by. This thesis project is my hopeful and humble addition to that belief.

I hope you'll follow me along this ride as I learn, question, reflect, create, and ultimately add my mark. And I hope the end of the road will be fruitful and satisfying for both of us.

I've had this summer to start some work, thanks to the Gregory S. Call Fellowship– I'll write more on what I've been up to on my next few posts. Cheers!

Song: Beginnings - Chicago Transit Authority 

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