Tricia: within, Between, & Beyond
Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Within, Between, and Beyond is a multi-layered art installation and participatory experience sharing an evolving archive of stories from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who identify as Mixed Race or Transracial or Transnational Adoptee. Interviews for the video portion of the installation were conducted by Lola Osunkoya, who here introduces our subjects and shares a few highlights from their stories.
Tricia self-identifies as Thai American and uses she/her pronouns.
Tricia was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and American father. She is our only participant raised outside of the US. Coming to Macalester for college when she was 18 provided a unique perspective on American culture and racial experiences.
Living in other places as an American and as a mixed race person, I was kind of the other. In Egypt, I was always aware of not being Egyptian. And you have a place of privilege being an American living in those types of countries. It’s just a different orientation. I didn’t worry so much about my race or identity there. Here, it became a lot more complicated.
I did live in sort of a bubble growing up - I went to an international school, everyone around me had lots of diverse identities, lots of people growing up in a different culture and being used to orienting to a different culture. So that’s kind of the ideal, and it’s something that I tried to create when I moved to the Twin Cities in the arts community that I’ve tried to build around me through the space that I run and all the projects around me that I’m involved with… I feel most comfortable around other mixed people, my close friends and collaborators.
Another shift coming to the states was the opportunity to spend more time with her father’s side of the family, yet noticing that whiteness did not feel like a fit to her identity.
Even though my father’s family is white, I don’t feel that comfortable in all white spaces when I’m the only person of color. There’s not a part of my white self that’s like “oh you’re ok here!” I still don’t feel ok, something doesn’t quite feel calm.
A stabilizing decision around incorporating all of the pieces of her heritage was to reject certain terminology and to claim herself as whole, as Thai American.
I don’t say “half” anymore. My father is white, but I am not. Not quantifying makes more sense for me. I came to terms with the fact that my father is white, but I am not white. That was a big moment that went off in my head like, that is him, and I’m a different generation, I’m a different person than him. I felt so much more in myself when I was able to not half or portion, to not use that terminology.
Tricia is such a brilliant and beautiful light in our exhibition. Come and see her full interview and portrait at Mia! Within, Between, and Beyond runs 7/16/21-10/31/21.