We had the good fortune of connecting with Su Kaiden Cho and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Su Kaiden, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factors behind my work, and/or “success” is my audience. My work being immersive and interactive, I allow the audience to engage with my art based on their own perspectives; exploration, not only for the artist, but for those who come in to contact with the art is an integral part of my work. Inclusion is a key factor in my installations and my sculptures. Approaching all art is based upon the personal experiences of both artist and viewer and is the ultimate medium for diversity and inclusiveness. I’d like to share the thought of incubator in my work, a safe space where I aspire the audience to approach my work and experience it in their own perceptions, such as: challenging norms, race, diversity, acceptance, self-struggle, gender neutral ground, is less about feminine or masculine, but predominantly about being a human being. My mission is to bring in otherness, acceptance, challenging norms and inclusion. It is very important for the communities to become more self-aware of their inclusiveness. In all my work, I always invite the entire community to experience my art and welcome open discussion about what my intended expressions in the work means to me. I am always eager to exchange thoughts and hear their responses as these broaden my understanding of myself and others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
To explain my artist statement, my work I produce delves into issues of ethnic liminality be means of quality of ambiguity or disorientation of identity. There are different interpretations of the self with social and cultural clashes between what is internally embraced and externally imposed, as it pertains to race and ethnic identity. Being considered a minority in this culture causes a level of uncertainty regarding my own identity and beauty. My work raises questions about common standpoints in how beauty is perceived that then ultimately results in internalized self-deprecation among minority races through visual duality, ambiguity, combining the association with the grotesque, the extreme and the fantastic. To answer how I got to where I am, I honestly don’t think I am there yet. And I don’t think there will ever be an end to where I want to be. It is not easy and I will always face challenges; however, I have learned to stay true to myself, and being humble yet fighting for my challenges is a step closer. Moreover, many of us experience disorientation, suffering from the strain of seeking our own identity and examining the framework that got us to where we are. There are certain aspects of ourselves that we cannot change. Our true-selves. As I grew older I began to let these characteristics face into the background so that others could perceive me as I intended them to be. However, I have realized that this is not who I am, and I cannot change who I am, and whether one may or may not accept my self, as long as I accept myself, I am being honest yet it will be the challenge I will continue to cross.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love to travel and take photographies during any given free times minus my working time in the studio.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout is for all community and the minorities including all people regardless of race, religion, culture and orientation and people of color. However, a special shoutout would be to my family. They have helped me gain greater understanding of being considered a minority in this culture and not belonging to either American or Korean culture causes a high level of uncertainty regarding my own identity and self-worth yet it is beautiful that I am able to relate in both. I have come to realize that life is about learning and finding where I truly belong. It is not one or the other heritage that makes me who I am. I am myself, freely expressing what I am passionate about through my work of art. I am who I am. My parents and my two older sisters have taught me valuable lessons such as acceptance, challenging norms and inclusion. Inclusiveness speaks to everyone in their own language, it is interpreted through their personal experiences and bring people together from all areas of life. It gives control of our expressions of inner thought and emotions and hopefully allow each of us to gain greater understanding of who we are. For example, if diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance. Not only is it pivotal to understand diversity, but it is very important that we acknowledge the fact that if there is no inclusion, then there is no diversity, which could cause more identity disorientation.