What It Means to Be Cute

August 10, 2023 – August 10, 2023
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
GYOPO, 801 S. Vermont Avenue #201 Los Angeles CA 90005

Thursday, August 10, 2023

6:30 – 8:30 PM PST

Organized by Christina Yuna Ko

Cuteness is an aesthetic intertwined with daily life and deeply connected with notions of femininity particularly for the Asian diaspora and those within Asia for whom cuteness is a prolific aesthetic–a part of their everyday life. While the aesthetic is omnipresent in domestic products, media, and spoken vernacular, it is often disregarded as kitsch, fetishized, or low brow. In relation to the geopolitics of East Asia, cuteness has become a critical tool of implementing “soft power” strategy and yet it has been used in the West to stereotype or infantilize those of Asian descent.

Join us on Thursday, August 10, for a conversation with artists Christina Yuna Ko, Lulu Yao Gioiello, and Amy Yao, moderated by curator Sophia Park. Together, they will explore the complexity of this tangible, emotion-forward, and affective aesthetic as they share their views on “the cute” and how they have adopted this language in their work. Beginning with short presentations by each participant, this program aims to complicate and add nuance to what is considered cute and to present it as a language that is rich, complex, and significant.

This program is free and will include ASL Interpretation will be provided.

If you’re unable to attend in person, don’t worry! GYOPO will be streaming the event via IG Live.

Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP!

Christina Yuna Ko
Christina Yuna Ko (she/her) is a Korean American artist living and working in Queens, NY. Her work, grounded in painting and installation, attempts to reclaim the living visual language present in the Asian diasporic experience as a site of potential imaginaries. She received her BFA from Cornell University in 2013 and will be starting the Columbia University MFA program in Fall 2023. Selected exhibitions include: “Étude for Some Place in Between”, One River Gallery, Woodbury, NY; “Late Night Enterprise”, Perrotin, New York, NY; “Bathing in Public”, Selenas Mountain, Brooklyn, NY; “Night Scenes”, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been featured in Artforum, Gallery Gurls, The Fader magazine, and The Washington Post among others.

Lulu Yao Gioiello
Lulu Yao Gioiello (b.New York City) is a book-maker, artist-curator and founder of FAR–NEAR, a book series and platform aimed at broadening perspectives of Asia through image, person, idea and history to unlearn the inherent dominative mode. She publishes art books, poetry, visual research, interviews and cultural stories for various publications, galleries and art collectives such as Asia Art Archive in America, Document Journal, Circa.art and WHAAM Gallery. She supports herself and her artistic endeavors as a freelance creative director for globally influential brands.

Her work has been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Thomas J. Watson Library Special Collections, The Franklin Furnace/MoMA Artists’ Books Collection, the SVA Library and Asia Art Archive, and are sold in various art bookstores and galleries across Asia, the Americas, Europe and the UAE.

Amy Yao
Amy Yao is an educator and contemporary visual artist making work in many different mediums informed by ideas of waste, consumption, and identity. She is represented by 47 Canal in New York City. Additionally, Yao is a lecturer in visual arts at Princeton University in New Jersey. Yao received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Design in California in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in Connecticut in 2007.

Yao has been involved over the years with several different bands including Emily’s Sassy Lime, an all-Asian American teenage riot grrrl trio, of which Yao and her sister Wendy were founding members. Yao further co-founded contemporary art gallery China Art Objects Galleries in 1999 with other graduates of Art Center.

Sophia Park
Sophia Park (she/her) is a writer, curator, and arts administrator whose interests lie in the ways intimacy, gathering, and communal care structures influence curatorial and art practice. She is based between Brooklyn, NY and Gumi, South Korea. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Oberlin College and M.A. in Curatorial Practice from the School of Visual Arts. She currently works as the Director of External Relations at Fractured Atlas, a national nonprofit arts service organization, and teaches entrepreneurship and the arts at New York University. She is part of slow cook, a curatorial collaboration with Caroline Taylor Shehan, and is a co-founder of Jip Gallery. One of her most recent projects led her to befriend Natasha, the 2022 Singapore Biennale, as part of the Nina bell F. House Museum.