Winston Kam presents at Virtual Intersections

Winston Kam's poster

Many students in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University have a second major or a minor, one of them being Winston Kam, who is also majoring in art history. For the second straight semester, Kam’s passion for art history led him to present some research at Virtual Intersections for the second consecutive semester.

Kam and his ARTH 274: 19th Century European Art professor, Andrea Rager, proposed an art exhibition for his presentation, “The Translation of Orientalism.” Kam selected four works of art from the Cleveland Museum of Art to “illustrate the transition of Orientalism to the present-day perception of racial minorities that fall under Orientalist ethnocentrism.” He pointed out that if it was a “full fledged” exhibition, he would have about twenty pieces of art.

Kam enjoyed learning about the process of planning an art exhibition as he did his research. Many temporary exhibitions at museums are often planned up to five years in advance, so Kam created “interventions,” where individual pieces of art could be placed adjacent to current artworks at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

"Participating in Virtual Intersection gives me the opportunity and a lot of freedom to dive into a smaller topic within the broad art history classes and to think critically about exhibition design and museum work,” said Kam. “Because my academic interests are so out of left field it’s great to be able to design a creative project and have an outlet to present it to.”

In the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Kam has conducted research with Associate Professor Matthew Willard.

This coming summer, Kam will be a Frame Conservation Intern at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “I’m super excited to be working at such a prestigious institution right next door to CWRU,” he said. “I hope to learn a lot about the behind the scenes work, not just in conservation efforts for artworks, but also how the administration of art museums is structured and function.” 

Kam’s virtual intersections presentation can be viewed here.