MFA Alum Kip Fullbeck mentioned in

'What Are You?'

Reflections on Asian American and Hapa Identity

By Rev. Vicki Flippin for the Huffington Post Blog on May 30, 2013

What is so liberating about the way Kip Fulbeck asks "What are you?" is that he is not assuming that the ethnic heritage of people of color is what is most fundamental and important about their identity.

"...There is an artist named Kip Fulbeck who has created a photography series called "The Hapa Project." Hapa is a Hawaiian term that has come to refer to people who are multiracial, with one part of their heritage being Asian or Pacific Islander. In "The Hapa Project," Kip Fulbeck photographs Hapa people, and asks them to handwrite below their photograph an answer to the so common question, "What are you?"...Many of the subjects do write something about their ethnicity. For example, a future comedian child writes below his photo, "I am part Chinese and part Danish. I don't usually tell people I am Danish though, because they think I'm a pastry." Others write statements that push back on the identity question. A young woman writes, "I am a person of color. I am not half-'white'. I am not half-'Asian'. I am a whole 'other'." Others challenge the idea that the most important part of their identity is their ethnic heritage. These people write things like, "I am a mom, an architect, a pacifist, an American."...What is so liberating about the way Kip Fulbeck asks "What are you?" is that he is not assuming that the ethnic heritage of people of color is what is most fundamental and important about their identity. Instead, he lets them decide who they are. He turns "What are you?" into a genuine, curious and liberating question..."

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-vicki-flippin/what-are-you-reflections...

For more on Kip Fulbueck's work and the "Hapa Project," please visit:
http://seaweedproductions.com/