Kristy H.A. Kang is an award winning media artist and scholar whose work explores narratives of place, identity formation and cultural memory. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Ms. Kang has taught multimedia workshops internationally at universities in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Her research interests include histories and theories of digital media arts, database cinema, animation, spatial and mobile narrative, and transnational media studies between the U.S. and East Asia. Since 1997, she has been a Creative Director with The Labyrinth Project research initiative on interactive narrative and digital scholarship at USC. Contributing her expertise in digital arts and animation, she has served as researcher, project director, and designer on a range of collaborative projects at Labyrinth.
Kang’s works have been exhibited internationally and have received numerous awards including the Jury Award for New Forms at the 2004 Sundance Online Film Festival. She received this award as Co-Director with filmmaker Carroll Parrott Blue and The Labyrinth Project for The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing–an interactive memoir which explores the cultural history of race in Houston by juxtaposing official histories with Blue’s personal narrative and family archives.
Kang was the Director of Labyrinth’s two science visualization projects. One was A Tale of Two MAO Genes: Exploring the Biology and Culture of Aggression and Anxiety, a collaboration with molecular biologist Jean Chen Shih, which is being used as a model for interactive science education at USC, Tsinghua University of Beijing and Taiwan’s National Chengchi University. The other was Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California – an interactive installation about Albert Einstein exhibited at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Labyrinth projects exploring the city as narrative space that Kang Co-Directed include The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River, a cinematic installation with Hungarian documentary filmmaker Peter Forgács which premiered at The Getty Center, and Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill–a collaboration with experimental filmmaker Pat O’Neill that combines fictional and archival narratives to explore the Ambassador Hotel and its surrounding neighborhood, now known as Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles. Her dissertation, titled The Seoul of Los Angeles: Contested Identities and Transnationalism in Immigrant Space, focuses on this area of Los Angeles and its diverse ethnic community. Using home movies, family photographs and oral histories drawn from its diverse ethnic community, Kang’s study explores the modes of cultural exchange between Los Angeles and Korea and how media creates a sense of place for local inhabitants of a globalized culture.