College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > The Art School > Faculty > Laura Kina

Laura Kina

Website: Research Page

Laura Kina is Vincent de Paul Professor in The Art School and an American Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Global Asian Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies affiliated faculty member. Kina is an artist-scholar who specializes in painting, contemporary art, and ethnic studies. Kina's artwork focuses on themes of distance, belonging, the fluidity of cultural difference, and the slipperiness of identity. Okinawan and Hawai'i diaspora and mixed race representations are subjects that run through her work. Asian American, transpacific, contemporary Asian American art, Critical Mixed Race studies, and feminist/queer theory form the nexus for her intersectional scholarly research, publications, and projects.

Kina earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing in 1994 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Studio Art in 2001 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her artworks have been exhibited nationally and internationally including at the Chicago Cultural Center, India Habitat Centre, India International Centre, The Japanese American National Museum, Nehuru Art Centre, Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, Rose Art Museum, the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Spertus Museum, and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Kina is a 2020 Art Matters Foundation Grantee, a 2019 Joan Mitchell Fellowship awardee through 3Arts, and a 2021 Make a Wave and 2018 3AP Project 3Arts awardee. 

Her illustrated children's book “Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos," written by Lee A. Tonouchi (Bess Press, 2019) was awarded a 2020 Skipping Stones Honor award for Multicultural and International Books. Laura is co-editor of "Queering Contemporary Asian American Art" (University of Washington Press, 2017) and "War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art" (University of Washington Press, 2013). 

She is a lead curator for the Virtual Asian American Art Museum, co-founder of the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference and association, co-founder of the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, reviews editor for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas journal, and editorial board member Amerasia Journal. Kina serves as a series editor for the University of Washington Press for the Critical Ethnic Studies and Visual Culture book series.

In 2022, Kina worked with Chang Tan and Tina Chen to co-edit a Spring 2022 special edition of “Verge: Studies in Global Asias" Issue 8.2 – “Visualizing Asias: Interventions in Asian and Asian Diasporic Art." In 2020, along with  Yasuko Takezawa, she co-edited a special edition of the “Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas" journal Vol. 6: Issues 1-2 – “Trans-Pacific Japanese Diaspora Art: Encountering and Envisioning Minor-Transnationalism."

For More Information
War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art Book
Queering Contemporary Asian American Art Book
Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos Book

Virtual Asian American Art Museum Digital Humanities Project​​