Kip Fulbeck

Kip Fulbeck

Kip Fulbeck was born in 1965 to a Chinese mother and English/Irish father. At age five, he was told by his full-blooded Chinese cousins that he was Hapa. He never gave much thought to the term as a child. As he grew older, faced with the dearth of knowledge relating to mixed-race identity (or worse, the negative connotations associated with it), he began thinking about ways to promote a more realistic and human portrayal of Hapa identity.

Fulbeck chose to explore this issue by creating the Hapa Project as a forum for Hapa to answer the question “What are you?” in their own words and be photographed in simple head-on portraits. He has now photographed over 1000 people from all ages and walks of life. The project is now a book, Part Asian, 100% Hapa (Chronicle Books, 2006) and an exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum from June 8 through October 29, 2006 titled kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa.

Kip Fulbeck has been making films and art about Hapa identity since 1990. Known as the nation's leading artist on the identity, multiracial/ethnicity, and art and pop culture, he has spoken and exhibited his award-winning films, performance, and photography throughout the world. Fulbeck is currently Professor and Chair of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award and also an affiliate faculty member in Asian American Studies and Film Studies. (May 3, 2006)

Read the Discover Nikkei article by Kip Fulbeck:
kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa – an artist’s thoughts

Video clips

Early consciousness of identity
Finding parallels through art
Refusing to use a Chinese name to identify as Asian American
The Hapa Project
Perceptions of uniqueness
Defusing myths through The Hapa Project
Difficulty responding to the question "What are you?"
Lessons learned from The Hapa Project
Differing responses by gender to the Hapa Project
Identity as a conscious ongoing process
Japanese Americans are more aware of their Hapa identity
Hapa as his primary identity
Discomfort at being labeled by others
International dimensions of hapa identity
Issues of identity outside of America
Imposing identity upon others
Changing fortunes of "identity art"
The right to say who you are
Defining the term "Hapa"

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation