'Coded Language' exhibit now open in HUB Gallery

January 25, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The HUB-Robeson Galleries will present the exhibit "Coded Language" in the HUB Gallery from Jan. 22 to March 3, with a public reception set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 9. "Coded Language" features sculptural installations by Penn State School of Visual Arts graduate student Nicole Lau and will tackle themes of microaggression, ethnogenesis and identity politics.

Inspired by her own experiences with ambiguous racism and language hiding coded and implied meanings, Lau explores how power, privilege and oppression are foundations for society. She seeks to explore the institutional oppression that is tightly woven into the fabric of our history and uses her work to identify how oppression is upheld through microaggressions and how one can respond with ethnogenesis. 

Microaggressions are the subtle ways in which verbal and body language convey oppressive ideology against marginalized identities. Ethnogenesis is a process in which groups of people acquire an identity that signifies them as an ethnic group. 

Nicole Lau was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She received her bachelor of arts in interdisciplinary visual arts at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008, and she is currently pursuing her master of fine arts with a concentration in ceramics at Penn State. She is an AmeriCorps alumna, and her work in 2011 with Public Allies/AmeriCorps was a pivotal moment in her art practice, shifting her themes toward identity politics and social justice.

Last Updated February 03, 2016