CSI Associate Professor of Media Culture Bang Geul Han is a recipient of a 2023 Creative Capital Award in the amount of $50,000. Her project, entitled Terre de Tendre, is an immersive world-exploration video game loosely based on Carte du Tendre—a map of an imagined land created by a group of women in 17th-Century France that charts the path toward true love. Mixing the fantastical with real-world elements, the work uses themes of interdependency, memory, empathy, and care among humans and nonhuman agents to approach and reframe contemporary questions concerning the ongoing migration crisis. Professor Han’s work is aesthetically rigorous and technically complex, using elements of virtual reality and artificial intelligence to develop the environment in which the viewer/player will experience the game.

Professor Han explains how she feels about receiving this award and what led to create this project, “The funds and the support structures that Creative Capital provides are going to help me realize a project that would otherwise have been outside my grasp, but this award is also a much-welcomed validation of an art-making process that often takes me into undefined terrains, both technically and conceptually. The project itself builds upon my long-term feminist inquiry into the intersections of language systems and technology, while this specific work explores and questions the limitations of empathic relationships and personal autonomy ­– themes that came to the fore during the pandemic.”

In 2022, the Bronx Museum of the Arts presented a solo exhibition of several works by Professor Han, “If You Grind the Threshold of Three Other Houses.” her work in this exhibition explored the legal discourses of reproductive rights and other subjects, in media ranging from sculpture and textiles, to video and AI-driven programs.

Creative Capital is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to funding innovative creative work and supporting artists through professional development opportunities. The theme of this funding cycle is “Wild Futures: Art, Culture, Impact.” The organization selected 50 projects for funding from nearly 3,000 applications.

By Cynthia Chris and Terry Mares