The Weglyn Endowed Chair for Multicultural Studies and the Kellogg University Art Gallery are proud to sponsor the exhibitions of Laura Kina and Viêt Lê. Their artworks highlight the nuanced nature of Transnational Lives in Motion among Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Despite Asian Americans' contributions to the U.S. for over three centuries, the perceptions of these communities are relegated to thinking of them as 'perpetual foreigners' or consigned to model minority stereotypes. The shifting global standing of Asian countries has changed the discourse to take into account that Asian Americans are neither here nor there, but everywhere, as they actively partake in transnational lives. Policies, wars, employment, and family reunifications have led to the movement of Asian lives across the globe, transcending nations, and blurring global boundaries as their lives are in motion. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders today are able to stay connected to their homeland, and others are reconstructing their multiple identities in a nation that tries to contain them.

To complicate the Asian American experience is to understand that these communities are complex and diverse, which adds to the continued challenges in the way we think about the layered identities and communities of Asian American and Pacific Islander peoples. Transnational Lives in Motion: The Art of Laura Kina and Viêt Lê examines the ways in which Asian American transnationals construct and reconstruct the fabric of their identities based on their location, space and time. From mixed-race identities with global connections, to communities who seek refuge in the U.S. from the legacies of wars, this exhibit highlights a few issues, which impact immigrant, refugee, and multi-racial ethnic communities living transnational lives.

Laura Kina's exhibition, named after her latest series, Uchinanchu, and Viêt Lê's trilogy lovebang! will be exhibited simultaneously, and for the first time, for each artist. Uchinanchu combines Asian and Pacific Islander pop-culture textiles, fabrics and T-shirts, formulated into colorful, large-scale tapestries, with traditional painting motifs addressing how the assimilation of multiple cultures fold meticulously into one personal, yet collective, journey. Viêt Lê's lovebang! Trilogy Premiere includes video installations lovebang!, eclipse, and the world premiere of heARTbreak! — each, together, transect the topics of Asian pop-culture, hip-hop, sex, homo-eroticism and being transgender, with struggle and war, nostalgia and heartbreak.