art > The Tertium Quid Project

Interlineation is a collection of official documents that act as an evolving self portrait. These documents demonstrate that identity is a construct, which may or may not be recognized and affirmed by larger social forces. This iteration of Interlineation foregrounds ethnicity, as a defining characteristic of identity. At the same time, it acknowledges that race and ethnicity are themselves constructs.

The triptych pictured here comprises (left to right), Portrait of the Artist, Chinese; Birth Certificate, Not Chinese/Japanese; Portrait of the Artist, Japanese.

The performance that produced this work involved soliciting the participation of the Illinois Department of Vital Records in order to modify my birth certificate. The modification to this document strikes a line through the word "Chinese," and inserts the word, "Japanese" where my father's race is denoted, thereby officially changing my own race. The portraits are passport photographs, taken before and after the official amendment took place.

Passport Photos, Re-issued Birth Certificate