Dr. Kristy H.A. Kang is an award winning media artist and scholar whose work explores narratives of place and geographies of cultural memory. She is Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and was previously Associate Director of the Spatial Analysis Lab at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. Her research interests combine urban and ethnic studies, animation and digital media arts to visualize cultural histories of cities. She is an Adobe Education Leader and an Annenberg Fellow, among a group of international artists and scholars recognized for their work in communication research and creative practice with technology. She received her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Practice at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Kang is a founding member of the The Labyrinth Project research initiative on interactive narrative and digital scholarship at USC directed by media scholar Marsha Kinder. Contributing her expertise in digital arts and animation, Dr. Kang has served as researcher, project director, and designer on a range of collaborative projects at Labyrinth since 1997.
Kang’s works have been exhibited internationally and have received 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 former Ambassador Hotel and its surrounding neighborhood, now known as Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles. Her project, The Seoul of Los Angeles: Contested Identities and Transnationalism in Immigrant Space, focuses on this area of Los Angeles and its diverse ethnic community. This study is presented as an interactive online cultural history. Using archival images, family photographs and oral histories drawn from its diverse community, this project is a platform for community storytelling that looks at the sociocultural networks shaping immigrant communities and how local neighborhoods negotiate a sense of place within an increasingly globalized culture