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Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2040-4689
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4697



This article investigates the ambiguity inherent in an individual’s cultural interpretation of belonging. The research has explored this ambiguity through exploring the viewers’ visual experiences of and responses to a series of experimental craft objects designed to stimulate a state of unhomeliness (termed ‘the aesthetics of the cultural uncanny’). Based on Freud’s essay on the ‘Uncanny’, and Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of the ‘cultural uncanny’ and the ‘ambivalence’ of culture in postcolonial societies, the research has examined the feelings of unease evoked when viewing the glass artwork comprising invented typography and forms. The aim is to understand better the relationship of the representation and consumption of objects and the ways in which taste and value contribute to our understanding of our cultural perceptions. The proposition is that inducing a cultural uncanny state and provoking a range of sensitivities and feelings can be used as a powerful tool in artistic practice to promote awareness of stereotyping and its consequences on an individual’s cultural understanding. The research was conducted as part of the author’s Ph.D. study at the University of Edinburgh. It used design probes as well as photographic documentation and a series of interviews conducted with six families and one single participant: four families in South Korea, two families in Britain, and a single participant in the United Kingdom. The interviews provided in-depth understanding, which enabled the analysis and critique of the artworks in relation to the cultural discourse inherent in creative practice.


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