Philantropy and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Stamps School

Philantropy and Interdisciplinary Studies at the Stamps School

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For the last ten years, I’ve been seeking the answers to identity, existence, and the subconscious. Recently, I’ve focused on community and individualism. Many consider my “Me” obsessed generation the most delusional, egocentric, and thoughtless generation in history. The reason for this is because we’re living in a system of paternalism. We’ve accepted a dose of dependence advertised as self-reliance. We’ve been given a placebo called freedom while our liberties are limited and regulated by Big Brother.
In my work I seek to reveal that two opposing forces cannot exist alone and must co-exist in order to create nirvana. We all carry a good side and a bad side, a yin-yang. This analogy can be applied to society as well. In it, there are individualists and collectivists, two opposing ideologies that need each other to create progress. We Americans have raised Individualism as our banner, but entering the 21st century, we’ve become less tolerant of each other’s individual rights. The collectivists have lost faith in the individual’s ability to self-govern and the individualists believe the collectivist’s “safety nets” are deterrents to independence. The imbalance and gridlocks have blinded us from the fact that our individual and collective successes depend on our individual and collective efforts.
I have a great appreciation for the modern artists. They changed societal norms by challenging their audiences to think. Seurat propelled science with pointillism. Gauguin dared us to question reality with symbolism. Duchamp expanded art with ready-mades. While in Laos, I had a spiritual connection with Buddhist philosophy. My eastern roots and my western upbringing have given me a unique perspective on our global society. The pursuit of a master’s degree is my effort to surround myself with like-minded individuals, to learn from tenured faculty, and to put myself in a position to contribute to the future. The features that attract me to the Stamps School are philanthropy and interdisciplinary study. I’ve been searching for ways to integrate new media into my sculptures. I want to advance my techniques in photography to better capture the essence of my subjects. Studying abroad presents another opportunity to share our culture and learn from another, thus bringing us all closer.
At Michigan, there are many exceptional faculty members I’d enjoy working with. Michael Rodemer’s knowledge of kinetic sculptures and outdoor installations will help me to create objects that excite all five senses. It would be an honor to work with David C.

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Turnley and Carol Jacobsen. They are social documentary artists able to guide my eye for candid moments of the human condition. Their experiences as filmmakers will help me transition into the realm of film and storytelling.
Fields of study outside of the Stamps School I’m interested in are anthropology and communication studies. Two professors that I would like to work with from the Department of Anthropology are Conrad Kottak and Jennifer Robertson. Dr. Kottak’s interest in global change and world cultures are identical to mine. I am drawn to Dr. Robertson’s experience in internationalization, robotics, and art. Two professors from the Department of Communication Studies are Aswin Punathembekar and Shazia Iftkhar. We share interests in international media and comparative media.
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