Useful Objects

by Minhwan Kim

Japanese Barberry was first introduced to the US in the late 1800s. As of 1920, this shrub replaced the common barberry as the more popular ornamental shrub. By the 1970s, it was recognized as a problematic invasive species in the northeast, and in the Spring of 2015, Japanese Barberry was banned from sale in the state of New York. <Useful Objects> revisits the historical perception of Immigrants through a framing of “Usefulness” by presenting the history of Japanese Barberry - dispossessed of its cultural use - in an effort to reclaim its original ornamental value and purpose.

Minhwan Kim is an independent graphic designer interested in legible invisibility of marginalized subjects.