“Canning Mao’s Mangoes.” “The Grace Lee Project.” It is no secret the Wang Center certainly stepped up its game this year when it comes to its events.
And it is all thanks to Jinyoung Jin, the associate director of cultural programs at the Wang Center, who has brought these events onto campus.
“I don’t think I can speak for the past but I try to maximize the uses of the space and then I think I have a strong sense of color and visuals,” she said. “So I think it’s kind of storytelling as well.”
Before starting at the Wang Center just over a year ago, Jin studied art history in Seoul at Hongik University. She was a curator for 10 years at The Korea Society in Manhattan.
She originally commuted from the city until she and her husband moved out to Stony Brook. The suburban life came with new facets, like learning how to drive. It also gave her more flexibility to schedule learning programs about the exhibits featured at the Wang Center.
“People are like ‘Oh, I have to schedule Wednesday during Campus Lifetime,’” Jin said. “And also people, there are faculty members, students who are only here Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday. I didn’t want to go to be bothered by so many regulations.”
She hopes that as the Wang Center continues to bring interesting programming, students, faculty and people from the non-university community will come to events regardless of when they are on-campus.
A few weeks ago, she used previous connections to bring two artists, Caroline Borderies and Christian Barthod, to the Wang Center to talk about Southeast Asian shadow puppetry. Before the show, she planned a workshop for families to make their own shadow puppets.
“I think the difference with Jinyoung is that the programs are much more lively and in-depth,” Director of Conferences and Special Events Diana Hannan said, comparing the current Wang Center programming to programming in years past.
Looking forward, Jin is excited for next semester’s “Tuck Your Baby in with a Blessing: Traditional Baby Carriers from China.” Traditional Chinese baby carriers are blanket-like, which allows the mothers to hold the babies around their back. All of the pieces are from National Museum of Prehistory of China.
“I hope that students are to realize how [many] programs we’re offering here. It’s such a unique place, but they’re so busy with their classes. They come and go and they often visit Jasmine. I hope they start to register this building beautifully,” Jin said.