About the Artist

Kip Fulbeck is an American artist, slam poet, and filmmaker. A renowned public speaker, he has been featured on CNN, MTV, and PBS, and has performed and exhibited throughout the world. He is currently a professor of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009.

Kip is also an avid surfer, guitar player, motorcycle rider, ocean lifeguard, and pug enthusiast. He is the author of several books including: Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids; Part Asian, 100% Hapa; and Permanence: Tattoo Portraits, and is the director of a dozen short films including Banana Split and Lilo & Me. A complete overachiever despite being only half Asian, Kip is also an internationally-ranked Masters swimmer.

Artist Statement

This is a project about identity. About representing ourselves as we really are. And while the kids here are all beautiful, I didn’t set out to make a show about beautiful ethnically mixed kids. That’s too easy.

All too often, mixed race people are already perceived as beautiful-because-exotic. All too often, multiracial kids are fawned over by well-meaning strangers for that special something—the texture of their hair, their skin tone, the shape of their eyes. And we must be conscious of oversimplification. We must be mindful that moving forward means not returning to making snap judgments about people based on factors that are only skin deep.

I wanted to capture the beauty of these children beyond their physical attributes. I wanted to shoot their enthusiasms, their playfulness, their messiness, their crankiness, their imagination, and their hope. I wanted to photograph them as them, not as them getting photographed.

—Kip Fulbeck