Artist Statement

My art practice focuses on my multifaceted identity: female, mixed race Asian-American, and white-Evangelical Christian. Within each of these spaces, I have been socialized to deny and discount my own body; my work prioritizes the language of the body. I utilize performance, video and fabric construction to re-contextualize spiritual rituals from earlier forms of Christianity to include aspects of my physical experience.

 

My performance is inspired by Butoh dancing: my gestures are natural, slow, and hyper-controlled. Japanese Butoh also has connections to Protestant Christianity and could be considered a practice of embodied prayer; my movements are about a state of mind, a vulnerable and contemplative space that allows for deep and dark emotions such as pain, wonder, confusion--emotions which the body has been denied room for--to be expressed. These feelings, though specific to my and my family’s unique stories, are universally felt in the struggle to understand the self and its place in the world. By choosing performance, I want to acknowledge that my self is constructed within relationships. Performance involving audience interaction is a way to explore these conceptual grapplings.

 

The colors red, white, and black reference blood, life/death, and purity. These are resonant themes for all bodies, and particularly for a female Christian mixed race body. For those biologically female, bleeding is a rite to womanhood, and a reminder of life and its loss; for Christians, the drinking of elements symbolizing Jesus’ blood is a rite to salvation, and a reminder of life after death.  I use white to create gradations, or as a transparency to show a multitude of colors behind whiteness; this suggests that purity--racial or sexual--is more complex than it seems.

 

I use fabric and clothes: material that is about the body and how it is presented to others. Clothes can be twisted, layered, stuffed and removed; this demonstrates the complexities and changeability of identity. Because I often use my own clothes or those of my community, this material contains a personal, intimate history.  Covering my body obscures the specifics of my skin or facial expression in order to highlight abstract form and movement. At times, I retreat entirely within the fabric costume, creating a boundary between me and the audience so that a layer of my performance is completely private, only experienced and seen by me.

 

I obscure words to show their multivalence. Printed or cut text is overlapped or made into a pattern that is difficult to read.  Performed words are sometimes precise, sometimes poetic and mysterious. Videos of my performance are altered and played on a loop, creating various versions of the past and present. This technique disrupts the viewer’s perception and reveals the complexities, and sometimes, obsessions, of self-understanding and spiritual understanding in a liminal space. The end result is an intimate, meditative and multi-layered work that explores identity, family relationships and history, and how our experiences, and other’s perceptions of us, shape a sense of self and belonging.

CV

EXHIBITIONS
  • 2017 | REORIENT: home is where? (solo) Georgia Anwell Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2017 | Visual Union: The Decades Show, Union College, Schenectady, New York
  • 2016 | As I Am, Changing (forthcoming, solo), Yellowren Productions Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2016 | WEAR & TEAR: living woman (solo), Liminal, Oakland, CA
  • 2016 | WEAR & TEAR: living woman (performance), Dragon Theater, Redwood City, CA
  • 2016 | WEAR & TEAR: living woman (solo), Georgia Anwell Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2015 | Today-Friday-Saturday-Sunday, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA
  • 2015 | WHITE WHITE RED: living woman, Gallery Route One, Point Reyes, CA
  • 2014 | 16th Annual Postcards From the Edge, Visual AIDS, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY
  • 2014 | Fractured Yet Rising, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • 2014 | College Collective, Genesee Pottery & Firehouse Gallery, Rochester, NY
  • 2013 | As I Am, Changing (solo), Burns Atrium Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2013 | Student Invitational, Mandeville Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2011 | Genesis & Dreamtime (solo), Wikoff Student Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2010-11, 2013 | Visual Arts Steinmetz Exhibition, Burns Atrium Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY
PUBLICATIONS
  • Cicada Magazine (cover), March 2010
  • Cicada Magazine (cover), February 2008
  • Letteri, Marianne (editor), Angels: Artists Imagine the Invisible, 2008, p.108
  • Letteri, Marianne (editor), Women of the Bible: Mothers, Harlots, Wives, and Queens, 2008, p.27
GRANTS, AWARDS, RESIDENCES
  • 2015 REORIENT: home is where, Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign
  • 2016 Artist in Residence, Yellowren Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2014 Vallejo Pacific Studio residency, Vallejo, CA
  • 2013 Juror's Choice Award, Just Art: Creative Competitions on Human Trafficking, The Price of Life, New York, NY
  • 2013 Charles Alexander Richmond Prize in Fine Arts, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2013 Student Research Grant, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2012 Student Research Grant, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2012 Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2012 Judge's Choice Award, Library Catalogue Card Art Competition, Union College, Schenectady, NY
  • 2011 Arnold Bittleman Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, Union College, Schenectady, NY
TEACHING
  • 2014-15 Private In Home Art Teacher, Bay Area, CA
  • 2013 Afterschool Art Teacher, Abracadabra Afterschool Program, Mountain View, CA
  • 2012 Visiting Art & Dance Teacher, Truong Vuong Middle School, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • 2010 Intern/Teaching Assistant, Lascaux Academy, Belmont, CA

Categories

  • Visual Arts
  • San Jose, CA
  • Hapa/Multiracial
  • Conceptual
  • Experimental
  • Installation
  • Mixed Media
  • Performance Art
  • Video