“home is an illusion”

Being brought up in multicultural backgrounds, born in Wales, U.K., raised in China, educated at American International Schools, passport-wise identified as South Korean (although I had never lived in Korea until recently), and currently based in Atlanta (GA), I have always been classified as “International.” A fusion of diverse cultures, customs, and languages - a living testament to the concept of hybrid identity.

“Home" has always been an elusive concept for me, and over the years, I have continued to struggle with finding my sense of belonging and identity. The inability to neatly fit into a single cultural frame has often left me with a deep sense of alienation, a realization that struck me profoundly. Having roots in diverse cultures did not necessarily result in an enriched sense of belonging; instead, it often meant dwelling in the realm of cultural homelessness.

The concept of “home” always fascinated me, given its versatile and abstract nature, which motivated me to investigate and seek out fellow multicultural individuals who, like me, grapple with the question “where are you from” and confront challenges of developing a strong sense of belonging. These individuals share feelings of displacement, loneliness and, above all, the deep sense of being foreign to both their heritage and host culture. Nevertheless, they find solace and relief from the persistent sensation of feeling lost through connections.

Their ties with friends, family, objects, and nature lay the foundation for establishing a sense of belonging that transcends the boundaries of nationality or ethnicity. It becomes clear that it is not the culture they are living in or the culture of their parents that defines their sense of home or who they are. Instead, it is the culture they create themselves through their connections that shapes what "home" means to them. Home is not something permanent or immobile; it can be found wherever they go.

In addition, the most profound similarity that I found within these individuals was a powerful unyielding spirit — a fire that burned as brightly as their fractured identities. This project not only seeks to articulate that culture and identity is established through multifaceted connections - whether emotional, physical or psychological - with the people we choose to connect with, objects, and the natural world within our environment, but it is also highlights the significant power that comes with isolation.

Furthermore, Nature serves as a recurring motif in this project, symbolizing a realm that unconditionally accepts our mere existence. Unlike the societal constructs and labels we've imposed on ourselves, nature makes no inquiries about our backgrounds or cultural contexts. It is only within nature that we can all share a collective sense of belonging, reminding us of the importance of acknowledging our senses and presence— aspects that are often obscured by our self-created divisions.

The book    Aliens 外星人 외계인 มนุษย์ต่างด้าว     is based off this series.