Shelly (Yejin) Lee

Memory Culture Identity

“The project ‘Belonging’ focuses on the theme of “where I belong” and “where I am from,” dealing with particular locations and places that hold cultural value and significance in my life. This particular topic is important to me because I believe cultural aspects and surroundings are building blocks of my identity and who I am today. South Korea and the United States hold their own special meaning and value, and only I can describe the ways the two different cultural environments have affected me. The overall purpose of this project is to take a step closer towards identifying my memories and interaction with my Korean American heritage through the implication of the cultural environment in visual representational forms.

Although my experiences in South Korea and the United States are interwoven into each other, I do not feel like I completely belong in one or the other. I came to realize that the experiences of these places never sit side-by-side with a clean boundary but are often mixed together.

‘Belonging’ takes form as an interactive installation of a packaged paper diorama consisting of 8 designed layers of its own unique, abstract patterns and textures that can be found in the environment of South Korea and the United States. Each layer functions as its own separate detachable element with its unique characteristics and overall utilized as a collage machine, a tool to capture images of all these different layer remixes of ““where I belong.””“