Archive for ‘Writing’

Self-Portrait: A Korean Adoptee

I was adopted into my family from Korea on April 16, 1985, at 3 1/2 months. On May 8, 2011, I was notified by Holt International that my birth family is looking for me. The site begins to chronicle my journey toward reunion and reconciliation as a Korean adoptee. Currently consisting of ongoing writings, the intention is for the project to grow organically into something addressing the greater themes of transracial adoption and the emotions of being found across multiple media.


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Ecphrasis (or, more commonly, ekphrasis) is, in its most basic idea, the reaction of one work of art to another in an attempt to describe the original’s essence and relate it to an audience. A poet describes a painting, a photographer captures the light on a statue, a filmmaker weaves visuals inspired by a piece of music. The two works are relational, in that the latter seeks to illuminate the meaning of the former, and create an immediacy of interpretation.

Our work on this site begins with this basic idea. Yet, where a work of ecphrastic art traditionally forms a dialogue with the original only in what it casts backwards through interpretation or inspiration, we are creating, notionally, the reaction while the original is still in an embryonic state. The ecphrastic relationship is not only between the pieces themselves, but between us as artists. Neither piece is complete until a synthesis with the other is achieved.

The method is to work in the creative moment–a spur, a reaction, the forming of a dialectic between the written and the visual, the competing halves of the brain, and the presentation of those moments to an audience. As we move forward, a complimenting series of plays will emerge that explore this relationship.

Also, we hope that they look pretty cool.

Images: Amanda Barrett
Words: John McDonald


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