hapa.me: 15 Years of the Hapa Project

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-10 20:51Z by Steven

hapa.me: 15 Years of the Hapa Project

Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012
2018-04-07 through 2018-10-28

The word “hapa” is the Hawaiian transliteration of the English word “half.” Much of its current usage derives from the phrase hapa haole, meaning “half white.” The phrase was originally coined by native Hawaiians to describe the mixed offspring resulting from encounters between islanders and White settlers. In subsequent years, hapa (or Hapa) has come into popular usage away from the islands, most frequently embraced by Asian/Pacific Islander Americans of mixed descent.

Artist Kip Fulbeck created The Hapa Project in 2001, traveling the country to photograph over 1,200 volunteers who identified as Hapa. The Hapa Project’s goal was to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of Hapas in the United States; to give voice to multiracial people and other previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths around exoticism, hybrid superiority, and racial homogeneity; and to foster positive identity formation in multiracial children. In 2006, Fulbeck published the first book and premiered kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, the first museum exhibition to explicitly explore Hapa identity. That exhibition remains one of the most popular in the history of the Japanese American National Museum, setting attendance records before traveling throughout the US and abroad. The exhibition broke new ground in exploring identity through photographic portraits of mixed-race subjects, paired with the participants’ handwritten responses to the typically posed question, “What are you?”…

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What does it mean to be of mixed race in America? A new book and exhibition aim to answer

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2018-04-08 22:07Z by Steven

What does it mean to be of mixed race in America? A new book and exhibition aim to answer

The Los Angeles Times

Bonnie Tsui

Artist Kip Fulbeck continues his Hapa Project, begun in 2001, photographing people who identify as being of mixed race. His original portraits are paired with new pictures of the same individuals. (Kip Fulbeck)

Natalie Coughlin and Nathan Adrian are best known as world swimming champions — Coughlin as a 12-time Olympic medalist and the first woman to swim the 100-meter backstroke in under a minute, and Adrian as an eight-time Olympic medalist and a top freestyle sprinter for the U.S. national team. On a recent Saturday morning, they dropped those identities for a lesser-known one.

“Being hapa — that’s a big part of my identity,” Coughlin said, as she and Adrian each sat for a portrait by photographer Kip Fulbeck at a makeshift studio in Oakland.

Fulbeck started photographing people of mixed racial heritage in 2001. Hapa, a Hawaiian word for “part,” has been adopted by some as a way to describe themselves. After each sitting, Fulbeck asked participants to hand-write responses to the question: “What are you?”…

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