Sarah Hwang

PhD Student

[Thesis] Digital street art, or digital art? The intersection of street art and the internet.
[Supervisor] Julian Stallabrass
[Advisor] Wenny Teo

Sarah’s thesis is a critical history of street art’s intersection with the internet. It traces street art’s trajectory from the material to the digital by examining early mediations of graffiti and its early intersection with the internet, focusing on street artists who engage with the internet and digital technology in their work, and considering the internet’s ‘genre-effect’ standardizing visual culture online and street art’s convergence with the contemporary art world. It also questions whether street art upholds its site-specificity when re-placed in digital space and challenges the notion of subcultures as resistant to mainstream/popular culture.

She is co-founder and managing editor of DiSCo Journalan experimental online journal of digital art, culture and methods.


PhD Research, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2021-present

MA History of Art and Architecture, University of Oregon, 2014

BA History of Art and Architecture, Boston University, 2011

Select Awards + Professional Activities

CHASE Cohort Development Fund for DiSCo Journal, Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts in South-East England, 2021-present

Courtauld Scholarship, London UK, 2021-present

Art Publishing Residency, Art Practical+Daily Serving+c3:initiative (now Stelo), San Francisco CA+Portland OR, 2017

Advisory Board Member+Contributing Partner, Portland Street Art Alliance, Portland OR, 2014-2017

A&AA and PODS Student Grant, University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Eugene OR, 2014

Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University of Oregon Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Eugene OR, 2012-2014

Select Writing

‘Super-ephemerality: Street Art in Digital Space’, FLAT, no. 1 (2019):

‘An Empty Identifier: In Criticism of ‘Asian American’ as Curatorial Construct’, Art Practical, 27 February 2018: find on Wayback Machine here

Exhibitions + Projects

Art Fills the Void mural restoration, Portland Street Art Alliance, Portland OR, 2015

Picturing Global China, Whitebox Gallery, Portland OR, 2014

German Expressionism, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene OR, 2013

75th Anniversary of the China Students’ Society, Peabody Essex Museum, Portsmouth NH, 2011

Research Interests

  • graffiti and street art
  • experimental publishing / publishing as curatorial strategy
  • art criticism+writing
  • film+TV, new media and digital art
  • art and globalization
  • art of the Asian diaspora
  • popular culture and subcultural practices
  • regional art histories
  • contemporary art and visual culture