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If I can K-Pop dance, I’ll be part of your beauty revolution.

Colloquium | October 5 | 4 p.m. | 180 Doe Library


kate-hers RHEE

Catherine Ceniza Choy, UC Berkeley

Center for Korean Studies (CKS), Gender and the Trans-Pacific World Program


In this lecture, kate-hers RHEE will discuss the evolution of her politically engaged work as an artist and her dogged pursuit of cultivating creativity and playful improvisation in her artistic practice. She’ll touch on past work and influences to frame the context of her current interdisciplinary project, called Modern Beauty Ideals in the Age of Digital Technology or If I can K-Pop dance, I’ll be part of your beauty revolution. This work takes the form of photography, drawing, sculpture, video, internet art, installation, and social intervention to engage hetero-patriarchal global beauty ideals and accompanying digital technology from a transnational feminist perspective.

about kate-hers RHEE

kate-hers RHEE was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in a racially segregated working class suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Her interdisciplinary work reflects the complex nature of miscast identity, cultural dislocation, and gendered interactions. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where she was a Graduate Studies Diversity and Jacob K. Javits fellow. Artist and Art Center Pasadena professor Tom Knechtel says of RHEE’s interdisciplinary practice, “Whether she is trying to re-insert herself back into her birth society of Korea or jamming the culinary tropes of German society with Korean cooking, revealing the underlying racism behind a much-beloved German treat, or mining the double entendres in an image of two pug dogs, she directly addresses the complexity of social and racial identities in ways that are funny and scathing, all at once.”

RHEE’s work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent exhibitions and interactive projects at the SOMA Art Gallery - Berlin (2017), Art Space One - Seoul (2016-17), Asian Arts Initiative - Philadelphia, PA (2017), Seoul Art Space SEOGYO (2017), British Museum – London (2016), Asian Art Museum – Berlin (2016-2017), the Neuer Berlin Kunstverein (2016), Humboldt Lab Dahlem Museum - Berlin (2015), Korean Cultural Service - New York (2015), and the Berlinische Galerie - Museum for Modern Art (2014). She has been honored with several residency fellowships, including from the MacDowell Colony and Millay Colony for the Arts. Her work has been recognised by the AHL Foundation - New York with the 1st Prize of the Visual Arts Competition (2014) and has been funded by the Puffin Foundation (2015) and the Berlin Senate with a Travel Grant (2016) and the Visual Artist Fellowship (2015). RHEE’s work was featured in the essay by scholar Mei Heberer in “Back to Myself: Negotiating German Belonging and Transnational Asianness in Experimental Video,” in The Autobiographical Turn in German Documentary and Experimental Film, edited by Robin Curtis and Angelica Fenner (2014). Her current project will be featured in a chapter of an upcoming publication, The (Geo) Politics of Beauty: Race, Transnationalism, and Neoliberalism in South Korean Beauty Culture, by scholar Heijin Lee.


cksassist@berkeley.edu, 510-643-9787