© Aram Han Sifuentes

designed by Ishita Dharap

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MESSAGES FROM MY ANCESTORS TO OUR COLONIZERS (The Gaze is Not Our Own)

At the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, I was looking through early photographs taken in Korea in the early 1900s. Much of the photographs depicted Koreans as workers, carrying large items on their backs and heads, and as heathens (notes with the words heathen and devil even present on the backs of the photographs). Early photographs of Korea were either taken by American Christian Missionaries or Japanese photographers as Japan was colonizing Korea. In a state of anger, this is my response to these photographs. These are the messages from my ancestors to our colonizers. 

Created during Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship 2016