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Kayla Tange Interview with Mary Anna Pomonis

Memories of Tomorrow's Sunrise, at the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery at Cal State LA investigated concepts of legacy, personal relationships, cultural identity, and oppression, curated by Jason Jenn & Vojislav Radovanović with Mika Cho.

Kayla Tange

A Chance to Be Seen (and not disappear when feelings appear)

Medium: Wood, acrylic, led, steel, acrylic paint, rubber

Dimensions: 63.5" x 42" x 34"


I asked four artists from the show to talk about their work in a short interview format. The artists create work in part as an effort to survive the very real challenges being presented to their bodies. In light of the present moment, these four artists respond to issues of body autonomy in their work in different ways. Kayla Tange, Marval A Rex, Marne Lucas and Jessica Wimbley to different degrees explore images of bodies under attack. The second in the series is Kayla Tange.

-Mary Anna Pomonis

MAP:What is it like to use your own body as a metaphor in a time of the real bodily threats implied by the overturning of Roe V. Wade?

KT:I was drawn to using my body as a metaphor since my early teens. I didn’t know why at the time, but looking back to the kind of work my friends and I created together in highschool, dressing up, questioning identities, sharing authorship of creative ideas, was about having agency over our own bodies and our own sexuality. My birth mother alluded attempting a kind of herbal abortion which, hence my existence, didn’t go as planned. Abortion was illegal in South Korea at that time. Her mother shamed her into giving me up for adoption and never told my birth father she was pregnant to protect his future. I’m still not sure why she burdened herself with this secret.

MAP: How does the issue of bodily commodification figure into the themes of your work?

KT: I’m still unpacking this part of her decision, however, I have thought a lot about the connection to my decision to engage in sex work for so long to her lack of sexual freedom. I have both thought of it as some sort of redemption for her and which often had a cyclical appeal to me, due to being part of the international mass export of babies out of South Korea. Although it was emotionally laborious and taxing on my body, there was also some comfort and bliss I found within various communites I became a part of along the way.

MAP: Because of the Roe decision and the potential it presents overthrowing of previous due process protections including the right to contraception, and same-sex relationships anxiety is a very real underlying experience for all of the artists in the show in different ways. Would you care to talk about that?

KT: I find this extremely terrifying and being the product of a pregnancy that did not want to be carried to term. There are an incredible amount of lingering psychological, economic, physical and social effects this has on a person which can be lifelong.

MAP: How do the issues of colonial oppression and self-commodification figure into your work?

-My family history is complicated and some of it is unknown due to my adoption and my parents being young when they were interned so they never really spoke of their families experiences. However, after my trip to Seoul in 2011, I’ve been slowly learning more about the Japanese occupation of Korea, the horrific comfort women history as well as the social and economic impact of transnational adoption. In addition, learning about the United States impact on both my Korean and Japanese history has been something that has been a connecting line and has lead me on a journey into re-discovery into shared joy and enjoyment as an antidote to the traumas both cultures have endured.

A Chance to Be Seen (and not disappear when feelings appear)

Medium: Wood, acrylic, led, steel, acrylic paint, rubber

Dimensions: 63.5" x 42" x 34"

Memories of Tomorrow’s Sunrise is curated by Jason Jenn & Vojislav Radovanović

with Mika Cho, Professor, ART/Director, Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery, Cal State LA

Featuring works by Enrique Castrejon, Serena JV Elston, Anita Getzler, Jason Jenn, Ibuki Kuramochi, Marne Lucas, Trinh Mai, Hande Sever, Vojislav Radovanović, Marval A Rex, Kayla Tange, Nancy Kay Turner, & Jessica Wimbley.

More information at:

Organized by Kayla Tange & Caroline Yoo

August 4 - 21, 2022

Dear Mother,

August 6, 2022 - Opening Reception - Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA

Dear Mother, is an exhibition starting from August 4 to August 21, 2022 at LA Artcore, located in Little Tokyo. Organized by artists and cultural producers Kayla Tange and Caroline Yoo, Dear Mother, explores topics of motherhood, body autonomy, immigration, and the family unit.

LA Artcore

120 Judge John Aiso St A, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Including works by: Jerri Allyn, Se Young Au, Chantal Barlow, Roxy Farhat, Luka Fisher, Chuck Hohng, Wednesday Kim, Lau Hochi, Julayne Lee, MATERNAL FANTASIES, David Noel, Norma Hernandez Peña, Nicole Rademacher, Pranay Reddy, Sheree Rose, Kayla Tange, Huidi Xiang, Kim Ye, Caroline Yoo


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