“Hapa” is a slang term coined from the Hawaiian word for “half-white,” designating a person of mixed ethnic heritage with roots in Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry. Artist Kip Fulbeck traveled the United States photographing more than 1,000 hapas from all walks of life: babies to adults, construction workers to rock stars, gangbangers to professional surfers, schoolteachers to porn stars, engineers to comic-book artists. The images, paired with each subject’s handwritten response to the question “What are you?” are poignant, funny, confrontational; in each case, Fulbeck’s work explores assumptions and definitions of identity. Fulbeck, a professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is author of Part Asian, 100% Hapa, which includes 116 of the photographs from the series. “The Hapa Project: Portraits by Kip Fulbeck” is on view at the Mandeville Gallery, located in the Nott Memorial building on the Union College campus in Schenectady, through February 3, 2008. A closing lecture by the artist will be held on January 31 at 7pm at the Nott.
(518) 388-6004; www.union.edu/gallery.