topic

Citizenship and belonging

This topic recognizes the complex, paradoxical ways in which the formal status of citizenship—legal inclusion in and recognition by a state apparatus—intersects with the desire for belonging—the feeling of being at home and welcomed by one’s fellow subjects. As Evelyn Nakano Glenn asserts in Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor (Harvard University Press, 2002), “Citizenship is not just a matter of formal legal status; it is a matter of belonging, including recognition by others in the community” (52).


As Filipinos move around the world in search of work, they must negotiate competing, often contradictory demands. While the Philippine state facilitates work emigration, it simultaneously demands that diasporic Filipinos demonstrate their loyalty by exacting salary remittances as a form of patriotic duty and framing them as “national heroes." With a complicated imperial history, Filipinos' citizenship and belonging is always up for grabs and unsettled.

US Citizenship Test Sampler (100 questions and answers)

Aram Han Sifuentes

2012 - 2015 Cotton thread on linen 96 in. x 8.5 in. x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist Photo credit: Hyounsang Yoo

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
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Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

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US Citizenship Test Sampler (100 questions and answers) (detail)

Aram Han Sifuentes

2015 - 2015 Cotton thread on linen 96 in. x 8.5 in. x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist Photo credit: Hyounsang Yoo

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

US Citizenship Test Sampler (100 questions and answers) (detail)

Aram Han Sifuentes

2012 - 2015 Cotton thread on linen 96 in. x 8.5 in. x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist Photo credit: Hyounsang Yoo

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

US Citizenship Question Number 52

Aram Han Sifuentes

2014 - 2015 Cotton thread and beads on linen 8.5 in. x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist Name: Veronica, Age: 41, From: Spain, Moved to the Unites States in 2011 Photo credit: Jayson Cheung

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

US Citizenship Question Number 53

Aram Han Sifuentes

Sep 2014 - Sep 2015 Cotton thread and beads on linen 8.5 in. x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist Name: Karina, Age: 28, From: Mexico, Moved to the Unites States in 1988 Photo credit: Jayson Cheung

contributor

X

Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

location

X
  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

comments

X

passports

baRbRa

2013 - 2014 Poem. 1 page. Courtesy of the author. Tayo Literary Magazine 4

contributor

X

baRbRa

b. 1983

baRbRa is a writer, transnational feminist, and LA native who is an alumna of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and VONA/Voices Workshop. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Mass Communications and minors in Public Policy and Creative Writing. She earned her Masters in Media Psychology from Fielding Graduate University. Having previously worked at the Japanese American National Museum and with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, she currently works at the University of California, Los Angeles Asian American Studies Center. She is the National Communications Director of the grassroots women’s organization AF3IRM and serves as the curator of AF3IRM's The Truth We Carry: The Insurgent Narratives Project. She is interested in writing and other creative arts as a tool for healing from trauma and for fighting against personal, political oppression.

I write because I choose not to forget.

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  • Born:
  • Based:

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"Aidan" from the "Passport Series"

Carina A. del Rosario

2013 - 2014 Mixed media. 7 in. x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist.

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X

Carina A. del Rosario

b. 1969
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Born in the Philippines, Carina A. del Rosario immigrated to the United States as a young girl. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Santa Clara University in 1991. She has studied photography with Magnum Photographer Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Raul Touzon, and Eddie Soloway, and she has been mentored by numerous visual artists in Seattle. Her photographic work has been exhibited in galleries and museums and mounted as public installations in the Pacific Northwest, and is in the collections of King County 4Culture, the City of Kent, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service. In addition to her own creative and documentary projects, she is a teaching artist and helps youth use visual arts and digital media to explore their communities, advocate for what matters for them, and express their own experiences. She collaborates with non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help illustrate issues such as poverty, education, health, and civil rights. She also founded the International District Engaged in Arts (IDEA) Odyssey, a collective that promotes cultural diversity, community development, and economic prosperity in Seattle’s International District/Chinatown neighborhood through visual arts. In 2013, the International Examiner honored her with a Community Voice Award for Individual Artist.

 

Portrait by Zorn B. Taylor.

Race/ethnicity is a complicated construct as it is. Combine that with gender identity, gender expression and sexuality, immigration status, and other categories, one can be left entangled by labels and expectations, subjected to many forms of discrimination, struggling to be whole.

In my own attempts at connecting to different parts of me, I have documented many communities’ fights for civil and human rights, for social justice. I’ve worked with immigrants and refugees, various coalitions of people of color, low-income communities, queer and transgender folks.* My work with trans folks has been especially powerful because they embody this struggle and resistance to be pigeonholed. Every day, transgender people are forced to choose male or female. They must always consider the possibility of harassment, discrimination, and violence when doing the most basic things, whether it’s going to the restroom or filling out an application.

In this series, I worked with a variety of people to create “passports.” I reframed typical application questions and invited them to provide answers, not by checking a box, but by using their own words to describe the most important parts of themselves. Together, we express our shared hope for the time when we are not limited and fragmented by categories, when can all be free to be our whole selves.

 

*Transgender, gender queer or gender variant people are individuals who cannot or choose not to conform to societal gender norms based upon their physical or birth sex. Some undertake medical or surgical procedures to embody their gender identity. For others, their gender expression primarily involves a social change (e.g., name, visual presentation).

location

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Seattle, WA, USA

comments

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"Butterfly" from the "Passport Series"

Carina A. del Rosario

2013 - 2014 Mixed media. 7 in. x 10 in. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Carina A. del Rosario

b. 1969
image description
  • See All Works
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  • visit website

Born in the Philippines, Carina A. del Rosario immigrated to the United States as a young girl. She earned her B.A. in Communication from Santa Clara University in 1991. She has studied photography with Magnum Photographer Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb, Raul Touzon, and Eddie Soloway, and she has been mentored by numerous visual artists in Seattle. Her photographic work has been exhibited in galleries and museums and mounted as public installations in the Pacific Northwest, and is in the collections of King County 4Culture, the City of Kent, and Asian Counseling and Referral Service. In addition to her own creative and documentary projects, she is a teaching artist and helps youth use visual arts and digital media to explore their communities, advocate for what matters for them, and express their own experiences. She collaborates with non-profit organizations and educational institutions to help illustrate issues such as poverty, education, health, and civil rights. She also founded the International District Engaged in Arts (IDEA) Odyssey, a collective that promotes cultural diversity, community development, and economic prosperity in Seattle’s International District/Chinatown neighborhood through visual arts. In 2013, the International Examiner honored her with a Community Voice Award for Individual Artist.

 

Portrait by Zorn B. Taylor.

Race/ethnicity is a complicated construct as it is. Combine that with gender identity, gender expression and sexuality, immigration status, and other categories, one can be left entangled by labels and expectations, subjected to many forms of discrimination, struggling to be whole.

In my own attempts at connecting to different parts of me, I have documented many communities’ fights for civil and human rights, for social justice. I’ve worked with immigrants and refugees, various coalitions of people of color, low-income communities, queer and transgender folks.* My work with trans folks has been especially powerful because they embody this struggle and resistance to be pigeonholed. Every day, transgender people are forced to choose male or female. They must always consider the possibility of harassment, discrimination, and violence when doing the most basic things, whether it’s going to the restroom or filling out an application.

In this series, I worked with a variety of people to create “passports.” I reframed typical application questions and invited them to provide answers, not by checking a box, but by using their own words to describe the most important parts of themselves. Together, we express our shared hope for the time when we are not limited and fragmented by categories, when can all be free to be our whole selves.

 

*Transgender, gender queer or gender variant people are individuals who cannot or choose not to conform to societal gender norms based upon their physical or birth sex. Some undertake medical or surgical procedures to embody their gender identity. For others, their gender expression primarily involves a social change (e.g., name, visual presentation).

location

X
  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Seattle, WA, USA

comments

X