Krishna Balakrishnan

Strange Encounters: An Investigation of Graphic Design-produced Artifacts that Discuss Hybrid Embodiment of Indo-Canadian Identity

Degree | MFA, Design, 2015
School | York University, Toronto

Artist's Statement

Postmodernism has been important in acknowledging the many forms of “otherness” that emerge from differences in subjectivity, gender, race, class, temporal and spatial geographic location and dislocation. This has become a topic of interest among graphic designers as they explore design’s relationship with culture. This thesis explores the use of graphic design to produce visual artifacts that discuss hybrid embodiment of Indo-Canadian identity. Cultural identities are represented as competing against one another, which results in recognizing one another as strangers. Multiculturalism and the migrant perspective are always constructed by proximity between strangers. Using hybridity, Homi Bhabha’s (1994) concept of a “third space” identifies a metaphor for the space in which cultures meet. Where communication, negotiation, and translation bridge societies, a new space emerges. This thesis employs the interventions of “the third space” to negotiate a meeting space with strangers. The project prepared during this thesis, The Avatars, represents an alternative way of seeing migrant perceptions of displacement, temporality and belonging.

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