Skip to main content

About Mindy

My work is at the intersection of Creativity, Belonging and Social Justice. 

I am an artist, organizer, and the founder of the Be Seen Project - a grassroots initiative amplifying BIPOC artists and makers who are using their work to center marginalized voices to fight for social justice and cultural change. I believe in using our unique superpowers for collective good, and aim to disrupt toxic belonging culture while building pathways for more radical love and connection in the world.

A Korean American adoptee, queer intersectional feminist and modern day bohemian, I am also a life-long devotee to the underdog.
 
You can read more about my creative journey and personal backstory HERE.
 

Cultural Bio:  A Reclamation

Along with nearly 200,000 other children, I was part of the first wave of adoptions from post-war Korea to the US at the age of 10 months old. I grew up in an all white family and community in the northeast, and though I was well cared for and loved, I was unaware and deeply struggling with the trauma of my adoption and erased identities for much of my life.

In my mid 30's, creativity became the catalyst and conduit through which I would finally begin to explore and express who I was and who I was seeking to become. Sharing my art and writing became a practice for being brave with my voice. I learned hard lessons about belonging and how to embody my truth, slowly owning parts of myself bit by bit. Eventually I gained the skill and awareness to begin challenging oppressive systems and start to reclaim my multi-faceted, transnational and transracial identity. In 2020, I took the big step to begin my birth family search and later that year changed my name to reflect my Korean heritage by claiming the surname I was given prior to my adoption. I still do not know my given birth name.

Divesting myself from internalized whiteness (the constructs of oppression, not the color of people’s skin) will continue to be a lifelong journey. My Asian American identity will always confront my place in the dominant narrative, even my belonging within my own white and interracial family. It also deeply challenges how I might continue to fully and bravely belong to myself and others. 

I will continue to use my lived experiences and creative voice to challenge normative culture and oppressive systems, and fight for human rights and structural change. 


* Cultural bio informed by the work of Desiree Adaway


Upcoming Collaborations...
  • Radical Business Summit hosted by Dawn Serra

  • Disrupting Craftivism hosted by the Liberty Museum

2020-21 Collabs
  • Drawing In Our Futures, chat with Midori about Asian queerness, art and activism

  • Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Craft Institution Consortium 

  • Uppercase Magazine Issue #50 feature of the Be Seen Project 

  • Disrupting Craftivism: Craftivism & Capitalism Panel Discussion hosted my the Modern Quilt Guild (June 10, 2021)

  • Celebrating AAPI Women with Badass Cross Stitch at the Museum of Design Atlanta
  • AAPI Heritage Month, Art & Activism Panel for L'Oreal USA
  • "The Future Loves You Already" community poetry project by Jena Schwartz
  • Disrupting Craftivism Panel Discussion hosted by Fuller Craft Museum

  • Featured as part of the Boston Globe's, "A Beautiful Resistance" webseries, uplifting local BIPOC

  • The Brave Yes Show: Ep. 16 - Reclaiming a Lost Cultural Identity

  • Creative Dream Incubator with Andrea Schroeder: Dreams Art & Activism

  • Korean Quarterly Newspaper, Fall 2020, Winter 2021 features

  • Barnard Zine Library, Be Seen Project Zine

  • Craft Industry Alliance, Quarenzines: Pandemic Inspires Analog Zine Projects

  • Fuller Craft Museum, Craft Chat, the Be Seen Project


Popular posts from this blog

Inner Alchemy Cards: Build A New World Deck

Our next make-your-own card adventure is finally here! Inner Alchemy Collage: Build A New World Deck (online) is an artful exploration of language, learning, inspiration, and collaboration, that delves into important ideas around activism and systems of oppression. This is a way for us to examine and disrupt harmful dominant narratives, tell new stories, and inspire one another to use our creativity and personal power to help build the collective world we all want to live in! In the end you will have a beautiful and meaningful handmade deck of 35 oracle cards to use as unique a tool for guidance and reflection whenever you need it.  I'm your host,  Mindy Tsonas Choi , an artist, organizer, radical belonging activist, and the founder of the Be Seen Project - a grassroots initiative resourcing BIPOC artist and makers working in activism. Join me along with other stellar artists, makers and co-creators who have also been exploring social justice and activism as part of their creativ

The Cost of Selling Belonging

As someone who use to sell belonging and believed I was creating something universally magical , I now have fresh eyes on the harm that I once caused. I understand what can (and was) incredibly healing and impactful for some, was at the same time excluding, marginalizing and undervaluing others. First, to anyone who ever felt like they did not belong to anything I created because they were unable to afford it or felt like they did not have the social capitol to join -  I am sincerely sorry for not seeing you sooner .   To our entire creative community as a whole, I urge us all to think about belonging in new and equitable ways, and to do the work of dismantling these hierarchical structures that leave so many people out of the circle. We all deserve to have access to creativity and belonging, and I'd go so far as to say both are fundamental basic human needs and rights. Selling belonging can look like... Creating spaces and experiences that can only be accessed by buying in at one,

what's in a name?

It’s May 14, 2020 and I’m on a transnational call with a social worker and translator of the SOS Children’s Village offices in South Korea. It’s 7pm my time and 9am the next day in Korea, which adds to the surreal quality of the moment. It is my first long distance call following my inquiry with the organization documented to be my first place of entry into the system, found in my Korean records (the acquisition of which is an incredible story in and of itself). It was July 21, 1972 and I was 5 months old. It’s a small miracle the organization still exists, and an even bigger blessing that they took such time and care in searching for information and to talk it all through with me in person. I try not to cry as the call connects. What I learn is a lot of small details about that fateful evening which amount to nothing traceable, but still feel like huge missing pieces of my life. I was left near the entrance around 7pm under a small tree, wrapped in a blanket with only a name scribble