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Artist Lecture: Nikki S. Lee

I was very exited to see Lee’s work because admired her way of depicting American subcultures. I wasn’t aware that she was from Korea. I thought that she was born in the United States. But the fact that she didn’t grow up in this country makes it even more interesting that she bases her work on commenting about American subcultures. Americans are aware of these different niches, but everybody is so use to it that it and the majority of Americans choose to fit into one of these categories.
Lee’s work was humorous in many ways because it was commenting on the stereotypes, but I found that the message that she was bringing forth about the different subcultures in American society is quite alarming. The fact that just anyone can so readily immerse themselves into any category is frightening. The clear message about these “subcultures? is that they contain no substance. A lot of Americans choose to identify with some type of subculture, because these identities are convenient and easy to assume. One thing that Nikki didn’t comment on is that a lot of younger Americans (teens and twenties) dress according to what music they listen to. This isn’t as prevalent in other countries. Lee did a punk, swingers and hip-hop project, but it wasn’t commenting on how young people dress like the music that they listen to.
I was also really amazed at how Lee was able to drastically change her physical appearance to fit into these niches of people. The senior citizen project was especially intense. It just goes to show that these American “subcultures? are based on physical appearance more than anything, and if one can assume the role, then they are very likely to be accepted with really no questions asked. I can imagine that it would be strange to grow up in a country were everyone is the same race and all very similar and then travel to a country where people live drastically different lives which heavily depends upon what part of town you live in.