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Artists of I-House: RAY LC

Residents at International House NYC represent an array of interests, cultures, and talents from around the world. Among them is RAY LC, who arrived at I-House in Spring 2018 while doing his Master’s in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design. During his time at I-House, he has shared his admiration for dance, art, and technology with the community through various projects and initiatives, including leading regular dance lessons. Over the course of his residency he has served as a Cultural Fellow and on the Resident Council. Ray also was a recipient of an I-House NYC Davis Projects for Peace grant to travel to Bangladesh and create an immersive storytelling project with and about the Rohingya refugees. Read more about Ray’s experience at I-House here. Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from, and what inspired you to apply to live at I-House? I was born in Guangzhou, China, but spend much of my childhood in Los Angeles, California. As an undergrad at UCLA, I lived in co-op housing, and I wanted to enrich myself in such a community when arriving in NYC. Tell us about your work. What are you studying? I am finishing my MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design, where I make projects such as emotion-reading bioprinters, virtual reality-based training for patients who stutter, fashion design for the elderly immobile, and emotionally reactive robotic lamps. What are your favorite things about living here? Anything in particular stand out?
 I love teaching dance from different cultures at I-House, and I find it to be a more effective way of crossing language barriers than actual language and a great way to learn about each other. One of my favorite dance traditions is Cuban Rueda, which I learned in Camaguey Cuba. I banded with a rag-tag team of I-House dance junkies and performed it at All Nations. Then as a Cultural Fellow, I enjoyed putting up events like French Cultural Hour, Latin American Culture nights, Art Fairs, and a Lunar New Year‘s celebration, to name a few. I worked with a fellow resident, Blean Girma, to make a video about one of our salon nights. In the summer of 2019 I also curated the “Technology and Social Good” Art exhibit at I-House, to engage the local community of artists and developers around ideas of using technology to help people living with disadvantages and to bring awareness to social justice issues. It was a challenging endeavor, but loads of fun. What do you want to accomplish in your career? I hope to create thought-provoking art and develop inclusive and socially engaged designs in research and activities both in the university and in the private sector, especially startups. Do you think being a part of the I-House community has helped you progress in your career goals? How? While I-House has provided me with access to resources and grants like the Davis Peace Project, it’s really the connections to people I’ve made here that have made the most difference. I have made friends for life, including one who established an exhibition with me in Pakistan, another who collaborated with me on a dance project showing at a museum, and yet another who exchanged language lessons with me while practicing in the music room. And through my participation in the Resident Council, I-House connected me with trustees in and outside of our formal meetings. All these human connections and mentors are the real benefits of staying here. Finally—do you have any advice for people who are just now considering whether they should apply to live at I-House? If you want to step outside your comfort zone, experience the lives of students from around the world, and engage at a deeper level with people, this is the place for you. Learn more about RAY LC and his work on his website.