Duality and Dokdo, Lone Island On Display July 13 to September 23, 2018 | Asian American Resource Center

The Asian American Resource Center is proud to host works from artists Dan Pham (The Banana’s Identity Cookbook), Lauren Chai (A Place in this World), and Matthew Koshmrl (Dokdo, Lone Island).


In their vibrant paintings, artists Lauren Chai and Dan Pham explore the duality of identity as Asian Americans. Incorporating motifs derived from their lives, Pham’s the Banana’s Identity Cookbook and Chai’s a Place in this World expresses the desires of finding balance between two worlds. These exhibits are part of the Asian American Resource Center’s Community Art Exhibition Program.

The Banana Identity Cookbook, Dan Pham

The Banana's Identity Cookbook serves as a visual diary for Dan Pham to tell a story or event in her life as a way to exam her ongoing fascination with dual identity, socialization, and how food is culturally constructed. Growing up feeling “too Asian for Americans” and “too white for Asians”, Pham seeks a space in between though her artwork.

About the Artist

Dan Pham

Dan Lynh Pham is a watercolor and digital media artist. She has exhibited her work in juried exhibitions such as Living Arts of Tulsa, Dennis R. Neil Equality Center, Momentum OKC, Lightwell Gallery at University of Oklahoma, and Gardiner Gallery of Art at Oklahoma State University. She was the curator for Aspen Coffee at Fountain Square in Stillwater, Oklahoma and created the cover art for “The Man Who Played with Dolls,” a book which will be published by Modernista Group AB Publishing (Sweden) in October 2016. Pham completed her BFA in Studio Art at Oklahoma State University in 2016.

A Place in this World, Lauren Chai

In A Place in this World, Lauren Chai uses mixed media to bring together different elements as a reflection of her identity, a clash of traditional and modern, eastern and western and the struggle for balance. Chai paints issues such as taboo, feminism, sexuality, violation and oppression. She also explores the abstract Korean cultural innate trait called "Han".

About the Artist

Lauren Chai

Lauren Hana Chai was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii being the first of her family to be born in the United States. Raised by her grandparents who are from South Korea, she grew up with dual cultures. She was raised very traditional with a Korean lifestyle at home, while at the same time being immersed in the western world outside. In 2010, Lauren moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University and graduated in 2015 with her BFA in painting.

Dokdo, Lone Island, Matthew Koshmrl

The goal of DOKDO-AUSTIN is to bring the island of Dokdo to Austin, Texas. The dispute of Dokdo is ongoing and still very present in modern Korean popular culture. Every year thousands of Koreans make the eight-hour journey by boat for a mere 15 minute visit to the symbolic island, before getting back on the return ferry to the mainland. Dokdo can be found in children's textbooks, in in the lyrics of Kpop songs, and often used as a political tool by politicians. The irony of the small island is that it is less than 50 acres, has no inhabitants, no exploitable resources, and no tangible importance. More than anything else, the significance of Dokdo is purely symbolic, a vestige of the dark period in Japanese/Korean history. And yet, each year thousands of Koreans go through great lengths to visit and pay homage to the island. Now, we are bringing the island to Austin, Texas.

About the Artist

Matthew Koshmrl

Matthew is a filmmaker and cinematographer born and raised in Minnesota. Matthew has produced and directed films around the United States and Internationally. After graduating from Emerson College, he moved to Daegu, South Korea where he continued his work as a filmmaker at Daegu Compass, an arts & culture magazine and website. Matthew has worked as a DP on short films featured in screenings throughout South Korea and the USA, including the Austin Film Festival, Daegu Independent Short Film Festival, and the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Matthew has focused on films that explore the evolution of tradition, individual and national identity, and unseen processes.

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