I was raised predominantly in Singapore, making annual visits to my parents’ hometown in tropical South India. At 19, I left to pursue my liberal arts degree at the University of Tokyo, trading the corporeal heat of the tropics for the hubbub of the Shibuya scramble. Most consistent throughout my movement across the continent, has been the influence of the arts on most aspects of my life. I graduated from the School of the Arts in Singapore and continued to dabble in community theatre while at college in Tokyo. This inspired me to found 美: a series of creative talks, which in turn gave me the privilege of being able to learn from, and interact with some of the city’s most innovative artists. I am excited to see the myriad of ways both Columbia and New York will impact my ever-growing personal map.
As a child of immigrants, I am interested in how global movements can affect issues relating to migration and the diaspora. Taking into account scholarship on post-colonialism, I hope to explore the constructed elements of cultural identity that come about as a result of global networks and geographical shifts.
During my time in Tokyo, I developed a fascination for the ways global corporations can affect popular culture and trickle down into the quotidian experiences of people. Along this vein, I chose to write my senior thesis on the konbini onigiri or convenience store rice-ball, located within the contexts of globalization and consumption. Over the next 9 months, I hope to truly delve into the distinctions (or lack thereof) between global and local, and the role that individuals and corporations alike play in those boundaries. Ultimately, I hope to embark on a career that combines my fascination with global networks and their effects on corporations with my love for innovation.
- BA, Japan in East Asia, University of Tokyo, 2017