BAMPFA is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Fellowship, presented each year to outstanding UC Berkeley students graduating from the Departments of Art Practice, Comparative Literature, and Ethnic Studies. The 2021 fellowships have been awarded to Ana Claudia Simao de Oliveira Lopes and Bryan Chavez Castro (Comparative Literature); Jackie Serrano (Art Practice); and Julie Thao (Ethnic Studies).
Established by an anonymous donor and administered by BAMPFA, the fellowship honors the legacy of Korean American artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951–1982). Cha earned multiple degrees from UC Berkeley: a BA in comparative literature in 1973 and a BA, MA, and MFA in art between 1975 and 1978. Cha worked in a variety of media, ranging from performance and video to works on paper, handmade books, and mail art. In her brief but productive career, Cha explored themes born of personal experience, primarily those of geographic exile and cultural and linguistic displacement. Many know her through her last work, the book Dictee (1982). Cha’s archives are held by BAMPFA, where she worked during her time as a UC Berkeley undergraduate.
Each of this year’s recipients has been nominated by the faculty of their respective departments in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, with a particular emphasis on the values of creativity, perseverance, and interest in cultural heritage that reflect the legacy of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 fellowship award, along with a first edition copy of Dictee.