the maGaZiNe Of Pratt iNStitute
Passport to Creativity
Empathy for Culture
F eatur es:
10 KOreaNs at Pratt:
a WOrLD-CLass eDuCatION
Social networking has made South
Koreans Pratt’s largest body of
international students and alumni.
18 BeGINNING at Pratt…
CHaNGING tHe WOrLD
Innovative designs originating at Pratt impact
healthcare, economies, personal comfort, and
overall well-being in many parts of the world.
24 PassPOrt tO CreatIVItY
Pratt artists view the world with curious eyes,
assimilating what they see in surprising ways.
30 28 eMPatHY FOr CuLture:
DesIGN FOr a GLOBaL aGe
Pratt students practice cultural
WHere IN tHe WOrLD Is Pratt? immersion to exhibit at the International
Pratt’s presence across continents. Contemporary Furniture Fair.
DePa r tMe N t s:
2 Mailbox 42 Corporate Partnerships about the Cover
Third + Bond, Barnes & Noble, Designed by the Korean architectural firm
3 President’s Letter Umbra, and Wilsonart Mass Studies, the Korean Pavilion at the 2010
4 Pratt People Expo in Shanghai, China, (May–October) is
44 Pratt exhibitions
Textile designer John Robshaw; covered in part by Pratt alumnus Ik-Joong
librarian Farideh Tehrani; artist Jean 46 supporting Pratt Kang’s colorful design that displays the Korean
Claude Dominique; entrepreneur Doris Trustee Profile: Bruce Newman; alumni alphabet (Han-guel) as a decorative motif
Magsaysay Ho; fashion designers Andy Suzanna Simor, Betsy and Ted Lewin, painted on 40,000 aluminum panels. For more
and Debb; and film maker Isaac Kerlow. and Berti Jones reveal why they have about the artist, see pages 10 and 22.
Photo by Jungyul Lee
32 New and Noteworthy given to Pratt.
38 ryerson Walk 48 special events For past issues of Prattfolio,
President Schutte honored; Pratt named 50 alumni News visit www.pratt.edu/prattfolio
among top green colleges; Vogue editors,
renowned architects speak at Pratt; 53 Class Notes
students exhibit chair designs in Germany; 59 Obituaries
MTV star attends Pratt; and more.
1 p r at t folio
Pratt PEoPlE PRATT PeOPLe
Dr. Farideh tehrani
CourTesy of John robshaw
M.S. library and information Science ’76
Preservation and Middle Eastern Studies librarian at Rutgers University
libraries, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Photographed in the Alexander
library at Rutgers University.
What inspired you to become a librarian?
We had no school library in my hometown, Shiraz, and books at
home were not for children to touch for fear they might be
damaged. So I found my source of happiness in Beladi Bookstore,
where I spent all my allowance renting books, bound magazines,
and journals. Three years ago I visited my hometown for the first
time in 32 years. Mr. Beladi was the first one on my list to visit, and
to my surprise he remembered me. I told him how important he
was to my growing up.
My love of books stayed with me, and in my first year of college at
Pahlavi [now Shiraz] University, I volunteered to work at a hospital
library; its small patients’ library next to the medical library became
my little heaven, and the American medical librarian there became
my role model.
Why did you choose pratt to study library science?
I met the dean of the School of Information and Library (SILS)
at an international conference in Europe in 1970 and the rest is
as pratt’s first Iranian student, did you find much interest in your
M.f.A. Painting ’92 homeland among your SILS classmates?
owner of John Robshaw Textiles, a New York-based company founded in 2001 to reinterpret traditional craft techniques Yes, I felt warmly welcomed and was constantly asked, ‘do you
from Southeast Asia, with textiles carried by 400 stores nationwide, by an online store, and by the Home Shopping Network. have this or that in your country?’ or whether we have camels in
Photographed at his country home in Kent, Connecticut. the street. In a matter of three years, there were 12 Iranian students
at SILS. Forty years have passed, and I still believe that Pratt
Institute with its friendly atmosphere was the best thing that
What took you to India in the first place? Were any pratt professors especially helpful?
ever happened to me.
I was a “sequin mule” for a friend of a Pratt professor who had a Juan Downey, my video professor, opened my eyes to different
company in Bombay that made sequined runway dresses for ways of looking at the world. I also had some great painting The American public later learned about Iran through the nightly
fashion companies in New York. I would pick up patterns in professors looking at my paintings in unusual ways. news coverage of the hostage crisis [1979–1981]. As painful as the
New York, then stop in Paris for sequins, drop the sequins in story was, I felt it was not about the real Iran and its people. I think
Bombay, and tour India for 10 days before coming back to pick Your success derives in part from your artistic ability to adapt of Iran’s 7,000 years of history and civilization, in light of which the
up the amazing hand-sequined dresses that had been made up South asian style. How do you modernize ancient motifs, last 30 years is only a temporary crisis.
in the interim for the fashion shows in New York. That’s when I materials, and techniques?
By looking at them from a painter’s eye. Color, form, scale, and Does your position as rutgers’ librarian in charge of
really fell for India. I was in art school making things all day;
the history of the design all interest me and push me to come up preservation and Middle Eastern Studies owe anything to your
then I went to India and saw the Indians doing the same. One
with new materials and techniques for making textiles from persian heritage?
could run around and commission any crazy ideas, which is
printing, hand painting, and embroidery. Certainly, my background and familiarity with the culture and
perfect for an art student.
languages of the Middle East are an asset. I hope someday to realize
What influenced you the most in India? What’s your advice to creative people seeking to establish an my vision for an Institute for Iranian Studies at Rutgers, though the
India’s craft traditions, traditional textiles, and color, art-related business like yours? current economic situation has understandably affected all new
color, color. Try it! I think art school can focus only on one road to success, initiatives. My goal is to create a home-away-from-home for the
namely, the gallery route. But there are so many interesting second generation of Iranian Americans and a place to showcase
Was it difficult to switch from painting to textile design? things to do in this world that a creative person can really Iranian art, history, and 7,000 years of civilization.
No, I was already making paintings with bleach and denim and succeed in, so look outside the traditional paths and try to
using sewing machines to apply fabric swatches to my canvases, find creative solutions to making and marketing things that What is your advice to young people contemplating a career in
so I was half way there already. I had also studied printmaking you love to do. library science?
in Italy and China, which related to and informed my print Choose a profession that every morning you are eager to get to
designs in textiles. What’s the last thing you bought abroad and loved? work. After half a century in my occupation, I still can’t wait to get
Art made from recycled junk by a local street artist. to work in the morning.
4 p ratt folio 5
Pratt PEoPlE PRATT Pe OPLe
Jean Claude Dominique
david Lee Ling wei
B.f.A. fine Arts ’95
Artist. Photographed in his studio in West orange, New Jersey.
What prompted your family to leave Haiti?
It was a hard decision to make, but my mother considered it in
everyone’s best interest to come to the United States and start a new
life; all the while, never forgetting our native land.
Have you returned to your homeland often since you left at age 13?
No, but I’m always in touch with what’s going on in my country.
When did you first establish your identity as an artist?
I always liked drawing. In primary school in Haiti, I traced pictures
from my books and got in trouble for sketching all over my
notebooks. When I came to the United States, I joined the Boy
Scouts of America (Troop 101), where I made drawings for my patrol
and moved on to doing some paintings. This captivated me so much
that I got more involved in painting.
On what basis did you decide to attend pratt Institute?
I was doing well in my computer science studies at Hunter College
for two-and-a-half years, but I never really enjoyed it and continued
doing my artwork. When I decided to switch my major to fine arts, I
Doris Magsaysay Ho
realized that I needed to attend a well-known school for the arts. I
President and CEo, Magsaysay Group of Companies, Philippines; Chair and CEo, multimedia design firm,
resided in Brooklyn at the time, so I did not have to travel far to find
CreativesAsia; founder, CreativesAsia Singapore. Photographed in the Philippines.
what I was looking for; Pratt Institute offered everything that I
needed, and my decision became that much easier.
What role does your Filipino heritage play in your life and work? talent, and animation is a way to express it without the need for
What have been the most important influences on your work?
Having been a colony of Spain for over 300 years and the United words. My son once told me that the most wonderful thing about
My Haitian culture and music. Some of my paintings relate to the
States for over 40, the Philippines has a multi-cultural society the creative arts is that words are transcended until one
Haitian folk art tradition, especially in terms of their subject matter
underpinned with our Malay/Chinese heritage. As such, it is not communicates “heart to heart.”
and vivid use of color.
difficult for Filipinos to respond well to this amazing global era,
expressing themselves successfully as artists, musicians, business Do you have a similar vision for the Magsaysay Group of Companies?
Has January’s catastrophic earthquake in Haiti affected you
executives, healthcare givers, etc. For myself, I have found it easy to What globalization requires is one standard of excellence. In
feel comfortable wherever I am. this way, being in such an international business as the maritime
There are no words to describe how I felt. Trying to contact family
industry, one needs to see the world as one market and the highest
and friends was a nightmare; seeing all the devastation on television
Does your background in art history, East asian Studies, standards as the minimum quality against which we measure
footage just left a huge void in my heart. With each passing day, the
and industrial design figure in your career? our services.
feeling got worse and worse.
My mother is a painter so she influenced me to love art and creative
expression. But my father’s passion for shipping was also extremely as recipient of the Ernst & Young Socially responsible
Can artists through their work be helpful in an international
attractive, so I ended up pursuing a career in business. I feel Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2003, can you tell us what it
extremely privileged to have had an industrial design education and means to be a socially responsible entrepreneur in the global age?
Absolutely. We can make a difference by raising awareness in the
training because it taught me how to look and listen to conditions When I was a student, I remember being anxious about whether
way we treat, convey, and record the event in our artwork, and we
and needs around a problem, how to visualize the solution, and how “survival of the fittest” meant that someone had to lose when one
can sell our work for the benefit of the victims of the disaster.
to have the courage to express an idea even if there is a possibility succeeded. I think one of the greatest ideas that came along since
What are you doing to aid Haitian earthquake survivors? that it would be knocked down. Someone told me that an education was the concept of “win, win,” and today three “wins” includes the
I have donated funds to different organizations and become like I had helps one become a lateral rather than a linear thinker, environment. In developing countries like mine, it is tempting to
involved in several exhibitions in which a majority of the sales will which businesses are realizing is a good thing. I thank my interpret corporate social responsibility as charity or donating to
benefit the victims of the earthquake. I also plan to join in the professors, Mr. Parriott, Mr. Gulotta, and Rowena Reed for that. NGOs. To me, corporate social responsibility is making inclusive
creation of a museum in Haiti to record and display the way the decisions in one’s actions, allowing other stakeholders to also
earthquake in seconds created total chaos in Haiti. How did “reaching out beyond borders and beliefs by partake in one’s success. I heard it best described as “enlightened
transforming the world into a single workplace” come self-interest,” and I try to live by that belief.
What do you most value about living in the United States? to be the vision for Creativesasia?
I value all the opportunities and doors that are open to me. The only What is most exciting about technology is that it allows a level
limitations I have are the ones that I have not ventured. playing field in the global marketplace. Filipinos have a lot of
6 p ratt f o lio 7
Pratt PEoPlE PRATT PeOPLe
seokwon andy Kim and
CourTesy of isaaC kerLow
Wonjeong Debbie Yoon
B.f.A. fashion Design ’96 and ’94
Award-winning fashion designers — and husband and wife team —
who launched their label ANDY & DEBB in Seoul in 2000. They are
well-known for designing the uniforms for McDonald’s employees in
Korea. Andy is also a judge on Project Runway Korea. Photographed
during New York fashion Week, february, 2010.
Why do you think the fashion industry in Korea is growing so
quickly and gaining so much attention?
It has always been a big industry. There are tons of fashionable
people in Korea. During the past 10 years, many international
brands have grown in Korea, so the Korean fashion industry is
getting a lot of attention. Also, more Korean fashion designers
are expanding their market globally as we are. ANDY & DEBB
started showing in Korea in 2000. Now you can find the
collection on NeimanMarcus.com.
How did you two meet, and how did your relationship evolve?
We were friends before we came to New York to go to Pratt. We
met in Korea as classmates at the language school. It may not
have been “love at first sight,” but rather a long-term friendship-
turned-romance. We dated all through college. Then, while I
was preparing the graduation fashion show, Andy asked me
what I was going to do after graduation. I said I wanted to gain
work experience then start my own boutique. He asked if we
could do it together. We still have tension in a good way as
friends, partners, lovers, husband and wife, and as parents of two.
M.S. Communications Design ’83
What was your experience like at pratt and how did it help you Artist-in-residence at Earth observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University; former Pratt professor and founding chair, Department of Computer
achieve your success? Graphics and interactive Media. Photographed on the island of luzon in the Philippines, near the Mayon volcano.
We liked the artistic mood of Pratt’s campus. There were always
exhibits everywhere. During the winter, sculpture majors would Describe your first documentary, People-Coral-Mentawai and how Describe the documentary you and the Earth Observatory scientists
carve snow blocks outside. Even as fashion design majors, we the scientists featured in the film may help predict earthquakes. are currently working on in the philippines.
were always stimulated by the fine arts. Now at ANDY & DEBB, Earthquake research in the Mentawai Islands is uncovering the Mayon: The Volcano Princess is about the people who live around
we often collaborate with fine artists. cyclical nature of earthquakes and tsunamis in Southeast Asia. the Mayon Volcano, the most active and destructive volcano in
People-Coral-Mentawai shows how scientists extract information the Philippines.
How did andy get to be a judge on Project Runway Korea, and from coral reefs, allowing them to build a timeline of earthquakes
what has it meant for the success and popularity of aNDY & going back several centuries. The deadly 2004 earthquake and What do you bring to documentary-making from your years of
DEBB — and for your relationship? tsunami in Indonesia had been expected, but the local governments working in animation?
After buying the program rights for Project Runway, the failed to prepare. The documentary is being distributed to schools, The basics of how you tell a story are very much the same. I have
producers asked to meet with us. They were looking for another community centers, and government agencies, and we believe it is also brought animation itself to documentaries. For the Mayon
judge, and it made sense that the person had to be a man, raising awareness. Some of the Mentawai Islands are just 80 Volcano documentary, for example, I created an animated sequence
because that was the role filled by Michael Kors in the American kilometers from Padang, the city in West Sumatra where a big based on the legend of Princess Magayon, who is believed to be
Project Runway. We never realized how powerful broadcasting earthquake is expected. buried under the volcano.
was. Our brand was already extremely popular, but we gained a
How has being an artist-in-residence and the only non-scientist at How did your experience at pratt as a student prepare you for the
whole other level of popularity after Project Runway Korea
the Earth Observatory at Singapore influenced the way you work? work you’re doing now?
became such a great hit. Andy gets mobbed in public places like
Most scientists and engineers find it easier when projects are Studying at Pratt exposed me to teachers and professionals who
airports, theaters — even at my son’s school! He did a great job
planned and executed in a methodical way. I like planning, but, as taught me a lot more than I realized at the time. Recently, while
judging and it was a good opportunity to show that we can also
any artist knows, I also discover things along the way that often have editing my documentaries, I remembered a guest lecture by a
do something wonderful without each other.
a huge influence on the final results. In my opinion that is half the professional writer and sound editor who created commercials.
Where do you see yourselves and your design work in five years? fun of being an artist. In working with scientists, I just need to make He played a commercial for the Jamaica Tourist Board. The sounds
Our dream is to make ANDY & DEBB a globally known and sure I share my discoveries as they come up. Sometimes, however, I were so powerful, you craved to go to Jamaica! In addition, graduate
worn brand. We took a big step and moved our collection to New just do my art thing, then come back to the team and find a way to students at Pratt were required to write quite a bit, and that
York two years ago. The world now is getting smaller so the make it work. At the same time, many of the researchers seem to developed my writing abilities.
origin of a designer or a brand doesn’t matter as much. appreciate the different points of view I bring to the institute.
8 p r att folio 9
CourTesy of John Pai
KoreanS at Pratt: A WorlD-clASS EDUcATIoN
By Katherine Yungmee Kim
In the last three decades, South Korea’s
art and design industries have undergone a renaissance.
Emerging from the postwar and industrialization years,
Korean artists in the 1980s and 1990s blossomed as they
began to travel, study, and exhibit their works abroad.
During that time, Pratt Institute became a sought-after
destination for South Koreans, who represent the highest
New york as the center of the art and design world,
especially during the 1950s and 1960s when the rest of the
world was still recovering from the devastation of World
War II,” says Pai. “Studying in New york at Pratt was a very
During those decades, the Korean population at Pratt
was sparse. “I remember Professor Pai having an annual
party for the Korean students,” reminisces Myonggi Sul,
percentage of Pratt’s international students and alumni
today. M.S. Interior Design ’81, professor of interior design. “It was
In the early 1960s, there were only a handful of Korean possible to do so in his carriage house on Vanderbilt
students on campus. Most of them were scholars and Avenue since there were so few of us.”
administrators who came to observe Pratt’s programs to Pai, who taught at Pratt from 1963 to 2000, said that
bring their newfound methodologies back to institutions in during these convivial gatherings, which at times included
Seoul. But over the decades, mirroring the positive such notable Korean art luminaries as video artist Nam
economy in South Korea and the rise in emigration to June Paik and pianist Kun-Woo Paik, his wife would cook
America, hundreds of students enrolled at Pratt each year. authentic Korean food. “It would end up like a house
Korean Pratt alumni filled prestigious professorial posts, concert,” Pai recounts. Up until the late 1970s, all of the
advocating for their students to study at their alma mater. Korean students had dinner at his home as the students
As more Pratt alumni became prominent figures in the left Korea for Brooklyn armed with his name and address.
growing art and design-driven industries in South Korea, “We knew everybody,” he recalls. “But somewhere in the
Pratt’s reputation grew. Koreans now make up nearly half 1980s, there was just an explosion of students coming from
the international student body and 25 percent of the Korea. It became impossible to know everybody.”
Institute’s international alumni.
ThE IMPorTANcE oF BEINg EDUcATED
ThE EArly yEArS Boasting a literacy rate of near 100 percent, South
Professor Emeritus and first Korean faculty member Korea—with its inherent confucian value of learning—has
John Pai, B.I.D. ’62, M.F.A. ’64, was one of only two Korean one of the highest education rates in the world. South
students on campus when he arrived at Pratt in 1958. In the Korea is now the world’s 13th largest economy, largely
1960s and 1970s, the numbers of Korean students because of its well-educated populace.
increased—but only slightly—with the establishment of an The rise of the middle class in the latter half of the
informal exchange program with Seoul National University century, the country’s global business expansion, and the
and hongik University, two top universities in Korea. Faculty cutthroat college entrance exams fueled the study abroad
and administrators came to Pratt under Fulbright and movement. high-tech sector growth in the last 20 years—
rockefeller Foundation scholarships to observe and learn South Korea is considered one of the most wired
teaching methods. countries—has only further increased the interest in enrolling
It was a particularly enlightening time to be at Pratt for at top universities to learn advanced technologies or design
these students. “I can’t overemphasize the importance of and to bring the knowledge back home.
Professor emeritus John Pai's In Whose Image from the upcoming show, “floating hours: Moon is the oldest Clock,”
at the national Museum of Contemporary art in deoksugung Palace in seoul
CourTesy of John Pai
With over 1,050 South Korean alumni, there is a strong network influencing
students to attend Pratt for overseas studies. According to Katharine Jungah
Kim, B.F.A. Film and Video ’86, cEo of cJ Entertainment, the largest
entertainment company in Korea, Pratt alumni in South Korea have reunions
twice a year. Kim, chair of the Korean Pratt Alumni Association, explains that
the group’s main goal is to contribute to Pratt’s development, as well as to
share and exchange information in their specialized areas. There are many
privately held exhibitions, and the last Pratt alumni show was “Brooklyn Express”
at the Kwanhoon gallery in 2008.
young J. hah, M.F.A. ’00, M.P.S. Arts and cultural Management ’04, who is
Pratt’s graduate and international admissions director, travels to South Korea
every other year to meet with prospective students. “Pratt has an excellent
reputation in Korea,” she says. She explains that college admissions in Korea is
“I hAVE No DoUBT, very competitive and only a small number of schools are considered prestigious,
ThAT ThESE STUDENTS prompting many students to study abroad.
“Every time I go back, I am more impressed at how much more global and
WIll lATEr oN BE AN well-versed the students are than from my previous visit. They are smarter,
IMPorTANT PArT oF more independent and well spoken in Korean and English. Their work is
becoming more diverse and reflective of their personalities.”
ThE ArT AND DESIgN “I have no doubt,” hah, who also is a visiting assistant professor in Arts and
INDUSTrIES IN KorEA IN cultural Management, adds, “that these students will later on be an important
part of the art and design industries in Korea in many ways.”
— young hah, M.F.A. ’00, M.P.S. Arts Seoul, with its population of over 10 million, is in the midst of a major
and cultural Management ’04 transformation with its new mayor, Se-hoon oh, at the helm. retaining its
ancient beauty while promoting its modern high-tech infrastructure, Seoul is
working to build its reputation as a creative city. As the 2010 World Design
capital, organizers of the Seoul Design Fair are expecting millions of visitors.
Scheduled to open in 2011, the 115,000-meter Dongdaemun Design Plaza and
Park, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha hadid, will house a
design museum, library, and educational facilities in the center of Seoul.
All of this prompted The New York Times earlier this year to declare: “Forget
CourTesy: debbie han
Tokyo. Design aficionados are now heading to Seoul.”
There are 30,000 design students graduating in Korea every year, and
Korean companies now have chief design officers sitting alongside the cEos.
Mayor oh believes that design and design-related industries are Korea’s key to
economic growth. This policy, dubbed “culturenomics,” focuses on creating
well-designed products that are distinctly Korean to expand international
Myoung oak Kim, M.S. Interior Design ’82, is involved in the revitalization of
the Samchong-dong area, a historical neighborhood of traditional tile-roofed
houses that now boasts art galleries and high-end restaurants. “Nowadays,
Seoul is undergoing urban regeneration through culturenomics,” Kim, professor
at Duksung Women’s University, explains. “Finding our cultural resources
vitalizes the city and its economy. Art and design are the essential elements for
Seoul to be a competitive city.”
The art movement in Korea has also expanded rapidly. Debbie han, M.F.A.
New Forms ’99, has worked in Seoul as a full-time artist for the last six years.
her photography and sculpture, such as her ceramic piece Terms of Beauty that
reconstructs Venus de Milo’s face into ethnically and racially different features,
explores themes of identity, beauty, and perception. She arrived in Seoul in
2003 for a museum residency as an American artist when there were only two
such programs in Korea. Today there are over 20. The gyeonggi Museum of
debbie han, M.f.a. new forms, ’99, a Modern Art, where she did an international residency last year, hosted the res
Artis International conference for the first time in Asia. John Pai's recent commission for the seoul institute of the arts in ansan, korea, Notes from the Stars, is his tallest piece at 31 feet.
korean american artist working in seoul
12 p rat t folio
CourTesy of ik-Joong kang
CourTesy of debbie yoon
“WE collABorATED WITh KorEAN TrADITIoNAl
PAINTEr o-hyUN gWoN To rEVEAl ThE
MAgNIFIED TExTUrE oF BUTTErFly WINgS.”
— Wonjeong Debbie yoon, B.F.A. Fashion Design ’94
There were 327 Korean students on the Pratt campus
during the 2009–2010 academic year and last fall there
were 148 Korean applicants to graduate programs alone.
communications Design, Fine Arts, and Interior Design are
among the most popular fields among Korean applicants
and there is now an official exchange program with the
Korean National University of the Arts. Additionally, there
are two Korean graduates of the School of Architecture—
young Woo, B.Arch. ’80, and young ho Kim, B.Arch. ’71
—who serve on the Board of Trustees.
According to Kim, his father herman hyung Nam Kim,
B.S. chem. Eng. ’28, is believed to be the first Korean
alumnus of Pratt. At the time, herman Kim was able to
learn more at Pratt as an undergraduate than he was able
to in the chemistry graduate programs in Korea. The elder
Kim also received an honorary doctorate in 1966. on his
The interior of the korean Pavilion at the expo 2010 shanghai, China, features 40,000 art panels by ik-Joong kang, M.f.a. fine arts ’88.
father’s recommendation, young ho Kim met with the
dean of Pratt’s School of Architecture who visited Korea in
the mid-1960s. he later enrolled and became the first
“The art world here has gone through many positive “very picky and always looking for something fresh, Korean legacy student at Pratt. In 1987, the younger Kim
changes,” han says. “Korean artists are very skilled and something they’ve never tried before.” Korean art, he says, also received an honorary doctorate.
hard-working and are slowly gaining exposure in the will follow a similar global trajectory that chinese artists Drawn by the school’s outstanding reputation, the
international art scene. Many museums and organizations have recently enjoyed. Korean alums also cite Pratt’s academics, intimacy, and
in the West seem to be introducing Korean contemporary “As long as we are open and willing to climb the highest location. Wonjeong Debbie yoon, B.F.A. Fashion Design
art for the first time.” mountain, we should not be afraid of being storytellers,” ’94, of the fashion label ANDy&DEBB, says, “Pratt has a
In 2009, the los Angeles county Museum of Art Kang advises thoughtfully, “so that one day we may tell our unique artistic environment, with a beautiful campus that
exhibited “your Bright Future: 12 contemporary Artists friends in the village what we saw at the summit.” seems less commercial.” She attributes much of her label’s
from Korea.” lynn Zelevansky, B.F.A. ’71, now the henry J. ethereally feminine creations to her “fine-art driven mood”
heinz II director of the carnegie Museum of Art, curated and coursework during her Pratt years. “history of Art was
the lAcMA show that was co-organized with the Museum a tough challenge, but I loved it,” she says. “As a result, I
CourTesy of ik-Joong kang
of Fine Arts, houston, and attributes the recent popularity often get my design themes from art.”
of contemporary Korean art to the economic viability of The fine arts reputation attracted Katharine Kim to
Koreans and their eagerness for exposure. “They started Pratt, who found her freshman year Foundation courses to
traveling and almost immediately clicked into international revolutionize her thinking. “They were extraordinary,
trends and then started to take part in the creation of especially in the way they enhanced my ability to see and
them,” she observes. feel things differently.” She studied Film and Video, and
Another Korean Pratt alumnus who has found claims that her junior year internship worked as a bridge to
tremendous international success is Ik-Joong Kang, M.F.A. her first real job. “It really lead me to be where I am right
Fine Arts ’88. Since being awarded the Special Merit Award now,” she says, regarding her role as the first female cEo—
at the 47th Venice Biennale, Kang is one of Korea’s most and head of the international business division—of South
renowned contemporary artists. he was commissioned in Korea’s largest movie company.
2008 by the Korean government to decorate the Kwang Kitai Park, graduate communications Design ’81,
hwa Mun gate, a symbol of national reunification that leads professor of environmental design at yonsei University
into the gyeongbok Palace. This year, his work that and founder of the eponymous Kitai Park Design
incorporates Han-geul, the Korean alphabet, is represented Associates, one of the top design firms in Seoul, also
at the Korean Pavilion at the Expo 2010 Shanghai, china. recalls his learning experience in the Pratt classroom. In
The aluminum panels are composed of art pixels incorporating a celadon dress from the “butterfly” fall/winter 2009 particular, he was inspired by typography, which was a
Kang speaks of the Korean art boom and compares the
Han-geul, the korean alphabet, a recurring motif in ik-Joong kang's art. andy&debb Collection
international art audience to restaurant goers, who are completely new field for him, one that taught him how to
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