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Voices of Adoption: Korean Adoptee Perspectives

Every adoptee has a unique and compelling story to tell. In Fall, 2000, NAATA placed an "open call" to Korean adoptees from around the country for personal stories and creative writing for this website. Our goal: to expand the body of creative and personal expression made by adoptees and to illustrate the diversity of their experiences. We extend our thanks to everyone who submitted material and while we could not present all submissions, we are honored to present here a selection of writings by eight adoptees.

Kate Hershiser Park Kum Young

Kate HershiserKate Hershiser Park Kum Young was born in Seoul, Korea and was relinquished to Eastern Child Welfare Orphanage. In 1976 she was adopted by an American couple, Mason & Sharon Hershiser and spent her childhood growing up in Detroit. In 1997, she spent a year in Seoul, where she intensely studied Korean language, culture, and traditional arts. As an adoptee returning to her motherland, Kate Hershiser Park Kum Young faced many obstacles including cultural and language barriers, prejudices, and racism as a jae-mi kyopo (a Korean-American).

Kate Hershiser (Park Kum Young) is a Korean American conceptual artist, intensly working in multimedia performance and video arts. She has created, directed, and performed various actions and pieces in the United States, Korea and Mexico. In 1999 she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with her BFA in Time Arts (film, video, performance, sound), and spends equal time in Korea and the United States, making art and studying traditional Korean Dance.

Her most recent projects explore the integration of western performance art techniques with Korean traditions and modem culture, therefore creating a dialogue between the Korean and American people. Currently she is in the pre-production states of an experimental documentary video that traces the evolution of Korean performance art while examining the roots of performance art in traditional music, dance, and theater. She plans to release a final cut in the year 2001, in Korea and America.

"How to be a Proper Korean Woman" was created as a response to the values Korean society puts on women, and the pressures they face when they do not fit the mold. "Magpie" is a migratory bird that is considered a symbol of good luck. Kate Hershiser Park Kum Young has performed in Seoul at the Space for Shadows Exhibition in 1997 and co-directed and co-wrote "Just A Moment", a performance with Russell Case.

program guideFlip through Kate's program guide.

Copyright © 2000 Deann Borshay Liem & NAATA. This content was originally created in 2000. Visit the original site.

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