Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Featured in the Chicago Tribune 10/29/12

My DePaul colleague Camilla Fojas and I are featured in this article in the Chicago Tribune 10/29/12 p. 7
In the news:
Dawn Turner Trice, from the Chicago Tribune, interviewed my DePaul colleague Camilla Fojas and I about mixed-race issues and the November 1-4, 2012 Critical Mixed Race conference we are hosting at DePaul University. She also talked to Minelle Mahtani who will be presenting at CMRS 2012.

Here is a link to the article:

To download the complete conference program visit:

To learn more about the conference visit:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Presenting and showing work at the Art In Response to Violence conference at NEIU

Laura Kina, Cane Fire, oil on canvas, 30x45 in., 2010
I will have several works from my Sugar series (2010-present) on display at the Art in Response to Violence (ARV) Conference at North Eastern Illinois University October 18-19, 2012.
Northeastern Illinois University
Student Union Building
5500 N St. Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

Register for the conference:

Join me on Thursday, October 18, 2012 6:00-6:45pm for a reception followed by a 7:00pm Gallery Walk, Led by Mark McKernin, Chair Art Dept, NEIU

I will also be presenting on Friday, October 19, 2012
11:15-12:15 Okinawan Blues: Painting Hawaiian Plantation Picture Brides
Laura Kina artist talk
Chair: Saba Ayman-Nolley, Psych Dept Chair, NEIU
Location: Golden Eagles
Join us for this interdisciplinary conference that will reflect on ways that visual art and art making express, communicate, and document violence in its many forms. Through art exhibits, paper presentations, and workshops, participants will address the influences and effects of visual art to address violence.

This two-day conference is open to professionals and students across disciplines and practice. From the opening ceremony, which welcomes all and acknowledges the lands and peoples affected by violence, to the closing session, there will be time for interaction and reflection. Visual art and art making can lead to peaceful solutions. The 3rd Annual Art in Response to Violence Conference continues the tradition of providing learning opportunities for all who attend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two weeks until the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference

Critical Mixed Race Studies at DePaul University
Two weeks until the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference at DePaul University.

I will be presenting a paper on artists Mequitta Ahuja and Shizu Saldamando on
Friday, November 2, 2012 in Session One 9:00am-­‐10:30am
Mixed-Race Art & Aesthetics
DePaul Student Center 2250 N. Sheffield #312
Chair: Michele Elam

LeiLani Nishime, University of Washington,
“At the Threshold of the Visible: Genetics, Race, and the Hapa Project”
Laura Kina, DePaul University, “Documenting Mythology: Portraiture and Mixed­‐Race Aesthetics in the work of Mequitta Ahuja and Shizu Saldamando”
Cherise Smith, UT-Austin, “The Material Body? Adrian Piper’s Food for the Spirit”
Michele Elam, Stanford University, “Mixed-Race Art and Political Memory in Albert Chong and Robert Pruitt”

Join us for the whole conference Nov 1-4, 2012 and Nov 1-3 for Mixed Roots Midwest.
For more info visit: http://las.depaul.edu/aas/About/CMRSConference/index.asp

Feed & Be Fed - new work in a show in Minneapolis

Feed and Be Fed at Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, MN
I'm showing some digital prints of my Omiyage series and sharing a recipe for Hawaiian Saimin with an Okinawan twist as part of the "Feed & Be Fed" exhibition in conjunction with:

28 Days of Good Energía

a quest for community well-being
in partnership with Intermedia Arts

Oct. 19 – Nov. 15, 2012
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

Join Mero Cocinero for 28 days of live & online arts events celebrating culture, joy & the revolutionary act of eating together – all rooted in the rich tradition of Día de los Muertos.

Feed & Be Fed

(Alimenta & Alimentarán)
a nourishing art exhibit

Explore this cross-cultural Día de los Muertos wonderland where each artwork invites you on an interactive journey, encouraging you to feed & be fed.

Featuring the artworks of:
Rebekah Crisanta, Jake Davis, Robert Garcia, Nicole Infinity, Robert Farid Karimi, Laura Kina, Erin Lavelle, Kathy Maxwell, Ricardo Levins Morales, Nicholas Pecoraro, Molly Balcom Raleigh, Phira Rehm, Victor Sanchez, Kao Lee Thao, Robert Two Bulls, and Victor Yépez. 
October 22 – November 10
M-F 10-6; Sa 12-5
2822 Lyndale Avenue South, 
Minneapolis, MN 55408
t. 612.871.4444 

Opening Reception
October 25; 6-9pm
Featuring music, live performance, special guests & free food

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies inaugural issue coming Winter 2012-13

The JCMRS inaugural issue will be released in Winter 2012-13

The Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS) is a peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to developing the field of Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS) through rigorous scholarship. Launched in 2011, it is the first academic journal explicitly focused on Critical Mixed Race Studies.

JCMRS is transracial, transdisciplinary, and transnational in focus and emphasizes the critical analysis of the institutionalization of social, cultural, and political orders based on dominant conceptions and constructions of ‘race.’ JCMRS emphasizes the constructed nature and thus mutability of race and the porosity of racial boundaries in order to critique processes of racialization and social stratification based on race. JCMRS addresses local and global systemic injustices rooted in systems of racialization.

Sponsored by UC Santa Barbara’s Sociology Department, JCMRS is hosted on the eScholarship Repository, which is part of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library. JCMRS functions as an open-access forum for critical mixed race studies scholars and will be available without cost to anyone with access to the Internet.

Volume 1, Issue 1, Winter 2012-13 will include:

Editors’ Introduction

“Emerging Paradigms in Critical Mixed Race Studies”
Laura Kina, Wei Ming Dariotis, G. Reginald Daniel, and Camilla Fojas

“An Interview with Dr. Maria P.P. Root”
G. Reginald Daniel and Teresa Williams-Léon

“Historical Origins of the One-Drop Racial Rule in the United States”
(Based historian Winthrop Jordan’s unpublished papers on the one-drop rule)
Paul R. Spickard

“Retheorizing the Relationship Between New Mestizaje and New Multiraciality as Mixed Race Identity Models”
Jessie Turner

Keynote Address, “Critical Mixed Race Studies: New Directions in the Politics of Race and Representation.” Presented at Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference, November 5, 2010, DePaul University.
Andrew Jolivette

“Slimy Subjects and Neoliberal Goods”
Daniel McNeil

“The Current State of Multiracial Discourse”
Molly McKibbin

“Only the News They Want to Print”
Rainier Spencer

Editorial Board

Founding Editors
G. Reginald Daniel
Wei Ming Dariotis
Laura Kina
Maria P. P. Root
Paul R. Spickard

Managing Editors
G. Reginald Daniel
Wei Ming Dariotis
Laura Kina

Editorial Review Board
Stanley R. Bailey
Mary C. Beltrán
David Brunsma
Greg Carter
Kimberly McClain
Michele Elam
Camilla Fojas
Peter Fry
Kip Fulbeck
Rudy Guevarra
Velina Hasu Houston
Kevin R. Johnson
Andrew Jolivette
Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain
Laura A. Lewis
Kristen A. Renn
Maria Root
Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
Gary B. Nash
Kent A. Ono
Rita Simon
Miri Song
Rainier Spencer
Michael Thornton
Peter Wade
France Winddance Twine
Teresa Williams-León
Naomi Zack

Contact: Editor
Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies
c/o Department of Sociology, SSMS Room 3005
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9430
Email: socjcmrs@soc.ucsb.edu

Mixed Roots Midwest at DePaul Nov 1-3, 2012

Mixed Roots Midwest at DePaul Nov 1-3, 2012 as part of CMRS 2012

Mixed Roots Midwest Festival

In conjunction with the 2012 Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference at DePaul University, Mixed Roots brings short films, a filmmaker panel, and a live show featuring local and national talent exploring the Mixed experience.

Selected Shorts: Silences, Crayola Monologues,
Mixed Mexican, and Nigel's Fingerprint
11/1/2012 5:45PM-7:15PM

These critically acclaimed shorts take on themes of racism, familial relationships, the
Census and how we define ourselves in a world focused on categorizing racial identity.

Mixed Roots Filmmakers Panel
11/2/2012 5:15-m-6:45pm
Three filmmakers discuss their journeys from pre-production through postproduction,
and what inspired them to tell stories of the Mixed experience.
Filmmakers: Kip Fulbeck (The Hapa Project 2001-2006), Jeff Chiba Stearns (One
Big Hapa Family, 2010) and Kim Kuhteubl (Nigel's Fingerprint, 2003).

Mixed Roots Midwest LIVE
11/3/2012 5:14pm-6:45pm
Experience an energetic, thought-provoking evening of spoken word artists from
Chicago's own 2nd Story, and a preview of Fanshen Cox's solo-show-in-progress. These artists meld performance with an exploration and critical analysis of what it means to have a mixed identity.

All events will be held at DePaul University Lincoln Park Campus, Student Center 120AB
2250 North Sheffield Avenue Chicago, IL 60614

Visit the CMRS 2012 website to download the full conference program:

Co-sponsored by Critical Mixed Race Studies, DePaul Center for Intercultural Programs, and the department of Latin American & Latino Studies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New work - The story behind my "Omiyage" series 2012 for the CARE Package show

Laura Kina, "Omiyage" (panel 1 "Saimen" of 4), 30x30 in. embroidery and acrylic on linen, patchwork quilt border, 2012

Laura Kina, "Omiyage" (panel 2 "Kameichi" of 4), 30x30 in. embroidery and acrylic on linen, patchwork quilt border, 2012

Laura Kina, "Omiyage" (panel 3 "Hawaii" of 4), 30x30 in. embroidery and acrylic on linen, patchwork quilt border, 2012

Laura Kina, "Omiyage" (panel 4 "Air Force" of 4), 30x30 in. embroidery and acrylic on linen, patchwork quilt border, 2012
For the past year I've been working on these new textile pieces for "CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA" which will open on October 5-26, 2012 at Twelve Gates Arts in Philadelphia. The show has been invited to travel next to Lahore, Pakistan in 2013-14.

Twelve Gates Arts is thrilled to host the inaugural showing of CARE Packag a small-scale international traveling show of five female artists of Asian descent. Taking inspiration from the concept of care package sent to each host country, artists Shelly Bahl, Shelly Jyoti, Laura Kina, Saira Wasim, and Anida Yoeu Ali created multi-media "gifts" to be shared with local audiences. Philadelphia is the city where packages destined for Europe after WWII were assembled for shipment by the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE, Inc.); now it is set to be the first city to receive this unique gift. The universal concept of a gift here acts as a stage for the artists' stories, which promise to tackle issues of nationhood, race, gender, religion, & economic exploitation.

About my new "Omiyage" series:
This piece is based on excerpts from an audio recording of my father giving a testimonial at his church about his father, who was largely absent from his life, for a special father's day service. The text is hand embroidered (by me....this takes forever!) and I painted the images on acrylic on Belgian linen. Using the patchwork quilt skills I learned when I was a kid from my great-grandma "Nanny" Ethel Safrons Dismukes Smiley, I sewed a patchwork border using scraps of vintage fabric and contemporary Hawaiian print fabrics. Below is the full edited text (I just used a few excerpts for the artwork). I'll let that speak for itself in terms of the content of the piece but I was thinking about absence, longing and how voids can create form and propel us to actions that we might not have taken if everything was OK. This is the story of the unintentional gift of an absent namesake.

Saimin Says: A Sansei’s Fathers Day Testimony by Dr. George Kina

Transcribed by Laura Kina August 2011

This testimony was delivered on Father’s Day June 19, 2011 at my parent’s church in Silverdale, Washington U.S.A. My father, Dr. George Kina, is Sansei Uchinanchu (3rd generation of Okinawan descent). Both his paternal and maternal grandparents emigrated from Okinawa, Japan at the beginning of the 20th century to work in the sugar cane fields on the Big Island of Hawai’i. What follows is a recollection of my father’s imperfect memories of his own father - Kameichi Kina.

Thank you fathers out there who stand by your family, your wife, your kids, because your positive impact on your family is not just on your own family but also on our community. I know that because I was one of those that grew up in a small community where there were actually a lot of good examples, I could look around and see that I could be like that person, or that person – I could pick out what I liked and say, “That’s how I want to be!” While I didn’t have that good example in my own family, I had it in the community.

I want to tell you a story about my father but right off, I want to tell you that although my father started off with a lot of difficulties in his life, started off poorly as a youth and as a father, I just want to say right now – he ended well. On December 4, 1987 he went on to be with the Lord. That’s the beginning and end of the story but there’s a lot in between.

I have a routine at lunchtime. I take about 15-20 minutes for lunch and I always have my bowl of chicken soup and a peanut butter jam sandwich. It just occurred to me that there’s a big connection between eating chicken soup on a daily basis and my father.

I have very little memory about my father - he left the house when I was a sixth grader and when he was at home, he wasn’t home very much. I think as a kid, you don’t remember a lot of things so it may be that there are things that went on with my father that I have no recollection about. I could come up with very little things I can remember my father with and one was eating a bowl of soup at a restaurant. We had a bowl of saimin soup [a Hawai’ian plantation era soft wheat noodle soup served in hot dashi (fish broth) and topped with char sui (sweet pork), garnished with kamaboko (fish cake), choi sum (Chinese cabbage), egg, and green onions]. I remember that it was a memorable thing. It’s weird, isn’t it, that that’s what I would remember in my memory of my father? Maybe that’s why eating chicken soup, right now, is a comfort food for me.

What did my father teach me? He wasn’t a man of a lot of words. We did things together. I remember we worked in the sugar cane field but as far as talking, I can’t remember too much except one thing. He taught me to drive way before I was to even think about driving. He said, “Look to where you wanna go, not where you don’t wanna go.” You know, when you are on a narrow road, if you look to the side line, you look at that and not the car coming toward you….to this day, when I’m driving my car, I think of my dad - just flashes of memory about him. Those are the two highlights in my life with my dad.

My dad wasn’t home much and he left when I was in the sixth grade and we never heard from him again from that time - not a word, not a note, no phone calls, didn’t send us any financial support. Over the years, just the lack of the father being there, there were seeds of opportunities…seeds of negative thoughts, bitterness, disappointment, sense of failure, sense of missing out on an important ingredient in my life, even though there were a lot of good examples.

I could see myself building these negative things in my character and I can remember having conversations with the Lord, over time, complaining about these things (this was when I was still a young person). It’s like the Lord communicated a thought to me, as I was whining and complaining to him about things he says, “Whose your real father?” It was like a sudden insight and an obvious thing. Of course there was only one answer, I said, “You are” and the thought came to me, “So why are you slandering my name? Why are you disrespecting me?” and the next thought that came to me was, “Honor your father.” That’s the fifth commandment - the first five commandments had to do with honoring authority, God, worshiping God, and the fifth one is honoring your father and mother. Give them respect, “Honor your father because I am the Lord, your God. Not because you think he deserves it or not or if he is a good father or not. Honor your father because I am the Lord, your God.”

That insight came at an early age but at the speed of obedience, it took many years to accomplish the insight the Lord gives! I thought I would just ignore things - my father hadn’t been in my life for many years. When it came time for me to graduate from high school. I really felt God compelling me to call my father, to find his number and call him. So I give him a call and I was able to reach him and I said, “Dad, I’m graduating from high school. I’m getting a special honor. I want you to be there” and he says, “Yes, I’ll be there” but he never was there. I never heard from him again from then. He missed different highlights in my life – high school, college, medical school, didn’t hear from him for my marriage or any of our children. But the Lord didn’t leave me off the hook on that.

As one of the things as the son in an Oriental family, it was always understood that somehow, I am responsible for my parents, that ultimately when the need comes - I’m going to take care of them. So in a sense, it was a relief to me that I didn’t have contact with my father at this point - only 50% responsibility left towards my mother! Whenever I would go back to Hawai’i, I would feel the Lord telling me to call my dad. I would call him and visit him. My father wasn’t a man of a lot of words, as I said, so we did meet a few times and had a few greetings but he never said a lot. Maybe he was feeling guilty about failing us and not being what it was supposed to have been but it was pleasant, we just said a few things and parted. That’s how our meeting was. When our fourth child was born I felt the Lord said, “This is an opportunity now to honor your father.” What the Lord wanted me to do was name our son after my father - “Kameichi.”

The last time I saw my father, I visited him in Hawai’i, I was surprised, pleasantly surprised, that when I went into his home the picture of my son was in first place. All of us were behind… background. My son must have been 2-3 years old but I knew when I saw that, we had made a connection, that he had sensed that things were going to be OK and I felt things were going to be OK with us.

My father, I heard, spent the last days of his life knowing the Lord, reading the Bible, praying. He ended well even though things were rough for him, things weren’t that rough for the family. We were taken care of. The Lord has been good to myself, my three sisters, to my father’s grandchildren. His favor has been upon us. God has been good to them and to us. God has been good to my father.

My son just graduated from officer’s candidate school. He is getting started in his career as an Air Force pilot and I told him, “You carry the name of my father ‘Kameichi’ and I am proud of you for what you are, for what you are becoming. I know my father would have wanted to be like you if he had the opportunity and the support.” I thank the Lord that he has been good to my dad, even though he started the way he did and had some set backs, I thank the Lord for that.