Kissing Kissinger (Portrait of a Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
Performance installation ( 27 feet × 10 feet) with image of Henry Kissinger from the Nobel Peace Prize website.
The seemingly endless kiss marks are commemorated into a visually monolithic motif that both works to illustrate the atrocity of war and speaks to the absurdity of awarding a war criminal. A kiss, a societally gendered marking, also serves as a femme gesture which pierces through the patriarchical structures and pulls back the veil on a violent history.
Dancing in Darkness
dye sublimation on aluminum
The series, “Dancing in Darkness,” poses the question of “What does it mean for the traumatized and marginalized bodies to dance?” Historically and presently, photography has been utilized as a tool of colonialism and employed as a weapon of war on the “Other.” Presented with a historical weight that aims to render stillness into affected bodies, dance is presented as a resource for pleasure and to resist the flattening of photography.
Installation (1500 pink donut boxes, hand-dyed jasmine rice, gold painted rice, and ceramic replicas of landmines)
Interactive installation, Sensor, Custom software
It shows how people pass their values to an individual through this power of the digital world, even if these values do not look "right". In addition, it is also an indication of the power of the network between crowds and individuals.
In addition, the crowds behind the network are collecting and spreading this fragmented information. People with an emotional contagion build a blurred individual by means of these words. A vague but clear person in the real world is shaped through these fragmented words, even if it is not a truth.
Digital Painting, Digital scanner, real fruit and vegetable, Custom software
List of scanned original vegetables and fruits for paintings: Broccoli, Carrot, Corn, Ginger, Grapes, Green onion, Lettuce, Mushroom, Pepper, Pumpkin
She used vegetables and fruits to represent the most original objects which the world of naturally born languages and the most primitive ways of exchanging information. And when they are combined and add some processing of artificial, it can only see a few contours and is no longer able to identify the original shadow.
Drawn and Quartered
In Drawn and Quartered, Sterling is seen pushing hay bales through an enclosed space. The remaining straw, strewn about the ground, is then gathered to create the inner lines of a square sectioned into four equal parts.
Cascades focuses on sites of water intervention up the Los Angeles Aqueduct through Owens Valley reaching the source at Mono Lake. In this initial series we are reaching into the past of water distribution to Los Angeles and how this echoes beyond to consider global water abuses.
VHS-C converted to digital, sound, video, found footage
My avatar presents herself in inauguration, a parafiction, to actualize the psychological melancholic desire to transcend the boundaries of her imposed racialized and gendered identity as well as a political tool and catalytic agent for mapping the material consequences of her presence in territories and narratives she is excluded from. First founded in 1965, the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) is a contemporary society of artists dedicated to upholding frontier mythology. Their mission statement stresses commemorating “the memory and culture of the Old West as typified by the late Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and others” and through realism and the narrative/figurative tradition, depicting “authentic representations of the life of the West.” These “authentic representations” predominantly come from the U.S. tradition of 19th Century images of manifest destiny, imbued with imperialist, self-justifying, and aggrandizing subtexts. Aside from the first and only indigenous member to be inducted in 1993, the CAA have always been composed of white men, and refer to themselves as a “brotherhood.” Can “cowboy drag,” a form of racialized, gendered, affective drag, not unlike code-switching, an embodied passibility, provide a mimetic form of deception and self-preservation? What are the alluring possibilities that result from racial melancholia: self-contradicting negotiations with pleasure and pain, multiplicitous selves, identity and dis-identity formation?
how to paint a rocking horse
VHS-C converted to digital, sound, carousel horse, windshield wiper motor, steel rod, bondo, adjustable 12v DC power supply, epoxy, wood, oil paint
the foul lump in my throat, in its iteration as my thesis exhibition, would have opened March 23. In light of COVID-19, my exhibition has been indefinitely postponed and I am unable to install the work as initially intended, yet the anti-Chinese discourses that have re-emerged as a result of the pandemic bring to light even more relevance to this body of work. As a Chinese-American artist, it feels urgent, now more than ever, to be unfathomable in the face of crisis and increasing xenophobia. The yellow body, historically rendered invisible, now experiences a hypervisibility. I have subsequently been re-evaluating the work and making new work as a call to response of the fluidity of the conditions outside of us. how to paint a rocking horse, filmed on March 30, is an immediate response to these violently resurfaced histories and shifting degrees of visibility: a performative lecture during the stay-at-home order in Los Angeles, in which I perform auto-theory from my kitchen while painting a mechanized rocking horse.
seven self portraits as a cowboy
oil on linen, sisal, horseshoes
This is No Dream
Oil on canvas with found object
While recently watching a satirical news segment I learned that television medical dramas are donating masks to the pandemic response. To reiterate: A parody accurately informed me that pretend doctors are coming to the aid of a real worldwide medical emergency which should have been handled by a reality television President — as ludicrous conspiracy theories, falsehood and fact mix and mingle with nearly unprecedented virulence. With these preoccupations in mind, I have painted Mia Farrow from the 1968 film “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Rosemary is a muse for our cultural moment. She believes she is being conspired against by a coven of witches. “This is no dream, this is really happening,” she declares. Similarly, in this deranging era, anything seems possible. Even If Rosemary’s plight is actually the result of paranoid hallucinations, might she have access to a special way of seeing? Perhaps the mentally ill have a more multitudinous view of the world? “We murder to dissect,” William Wordsworth warned. In this case, we condescend to Rosemary at our own peril.'
Today, I Went to His Work
The China Welfare Lottery began in 1987 with the theme of “protect the old, help the disabled, save the lonely, help the poor.” Currently more than 60,000 lottery stores in China, and a strong sales network has been established. My father started his career in the lottery business in 2014, when I came to the United States for my undergraduate degree. Since that time, the generation and cultural gaps have begun to grow and affect us both.
The intimate parent-child relationship is like a sensitive and fragile snail, parts of its body instinctively retracting into its shell at the touch, always thinking that there is safety in its hard, protective wall and opaque black cave, when in fact, the shell crumbles like sugar in one’s fingers. In this project, I invited my dad to join me on a one-kilometer race competition on January 18, 2020. We were running along a lakeside where the miles were marked on the ground. The only rule in this competition was whoever reached the one-kilometer mark first would be the winner. The participant was able to quit if he/she felt physically unable to finish, and the other participant would become the winner automatically
In this project, I took a photo of me and left it unretouched as the first image, then passed it to whoever is interested in retouching the image to satisfy his or her own beauty appreciation. I collect the image after each edit and then pass it to another person, so the edits are accumulating, and the changes are irreversible.
When Streams Become Flood
workshops, gatherings, collective tea ceremony performances with ceramics created by the artist and workshop participants, food sharing
When Streams Become Flood is an ongoing work that spans over a spectrum of making, convening, sharing, showing and giving. It centers around a set of teaware that is abstracted, distorted, and scaled at a much larger size than its efficient reciprocals. The tea servers are then asked to negotiate with the obstacle of not being able to operate the tea set by themselves or in a way that is habitually familiar to them. The objects give opportunities for people to problem solve together and to collaborate physically, verbally, and intellectually while actively acknowledging our intra-dependence. The project is composed of research, workshops, sculptural and functional objects, score and performance and these components are activated by viewers and participants (or guests) in the exhibition space.
Special thanks to CalArts Clay Club and Nick England Intercultural Arts Project Grant for funding and supporting this project.
consider the cushion on the Ahmanson Patio
indigo-dyed cotton muslin, hand-embroidered questions posed by workshop participants, tinted vinyl, plywood
The cushion is a platform that holds bodies, inquiries, daydreams, conversations, thoughts, communities, unproductivity, and relaxation. All cushions are encased with indigo dyed cotton muslin and stuffed with polyester fiberfill and foam. The embroidered cushions carry questions gathered from a 4th grade class at a public elementary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. These 22 questions were selected from a pool of 368 questions that had been collected over a month-long period of workshops around the act of questioning. The 22 Korean American students in Ms. Choi’s class are part of Charles H. Kim Elementary School’s dual language program.
Why do we dream?
Why wont nature be the same?
Will I pursue my dream
Why are they talking about the border?
Why do people want robots to do everything?
What is arms?
Will I have true love?
Why does people see beauty in different ways?
In how many years longer will there be peace in the world?
How will I become an artist?
What if I get homesick?
How can you grab something that is very small?
What bring the sun and change into the moon?
What if I turn into a boy?
How can people’s eye cry when they get sad?
What is the most important question you have to ask yourself about?
What brings friends together to be friends? What brings friends to seperate with each other?
How did the long avocado grow so long?
Does Aaron really like me?
how is god not born? how is god made or created?
Why is some problem easy and some are hard?
What will change in 10 years?
Special thanks to Hayung Choi and her students at Charles H. Kim Elementary School.
talk to it
reservoir water and raw clay from sites along the Colorado River Storage Project, 280 lbs of raw clay (weight of artist and mother), glass vessels, fired clay, concrete steps, collage, digital video, sound
In the old testament, god tells Moses to talk to a rock when he is in need of water for his people. Instead, Moses hits the rock with his stick. Though the hit does cause water to gush from the rock, Moses is punished for his use of force and forbidden from ever setting foot in his people’s homeland (for his inability to be embedded & embodied in the world around him, he is unable to ever find home). Prior to hitting the rock, his sister Miriam had brought water to the people by singing and playing her tambourine. I grew up singing her song in large groups of people, wearing a skirt down to the floor, everyone dancing while screaming the word “water”. Men on one side of the wall, women on the other.
Miriam is my grandmother’s name. I live in the world she created: her trauma has shape-shifted tributaries across three generations. Abuse like water, or abuse in the water, or abuse of the water. I don’t know of anyone past her in my lineage, there is no discernible tree just a big cut.
In patriarchy, we inherit the stick. And how do we move from the mouth? The mouth that drinks and spits, leaks and loves, sucks and salivates. Chews, bites, bellows.
In greek mythology, “civilization” couldn’t begin until a man (Heracles) murdered the monstrous femme (Hydra) by cutting off all of her heads. I dance on either side of a dam (an important dam, a great achievement): on one side the reservoir, on the other side the river. Both shapes made by those who use their sticks to hit.
I am on both sides of the blockage, I am also the blockage. Water the living spirit, the monstrous divine. Water who is time.
we didn’t want to be moved (280 lbs)
Performance and installation (combined weight of artist and their mother in raw clay (280 lbs), hot pink baseball bat, rock from largest dam in California, plastic drop-cloth, wooden platform, offset lithography on billboard)
How do we grapple with the trauma pressed from one body to another?
emotional architecture (the earth must be on its back by now)
Eight ongoing rhizomatic correspondences, March 24th, 2020—Present. In conversation/collaboration with Fía Benitez, Woohee Cho, Sterling Hedges, Vanessa Holyoak, Christine Lee, Lucy Kerr, Pia Sazani, and Lucinda Trask.
This project charts a fragmented compilation of eight performances that occurred rhizomatically and liminally in the wake of Los Angeles’ Safer at Home emergency order in March 2020. The California shutdown occurred on the very same day that rehearsal was supposed to begin for a performance score written for the doorway of my upcoming thesis exhibition. An investigation of architectures of loneliness and transition, that movement piece was devised from a series of scores I had written while somatically researching the psychogeography of dams and rivers located in the Western and Southwestern United States.
Covid has drastically restructured our relationships to our bodies, the bodies of our friends, and the bodies of our buildings. In conversation with this, performers were invited from the doorway of the gallery into the doorway of their homes: a familiar architecture now embodying limitation and consequential threshold. Our score-based inquiry sprawled over the course of four months and expanded and contracted alongside the larger cultural experiences of infection, fear, quarantine, pandemic, and inequity. Through writing, video, drawing, and sound: the body in the threshold, encompassing the frenetic ambiguity of “in-between” and “unknown”, pressing into the grief of the shape, struggling or finding stillness in illegibility. At the start, each participant was asked to draw a map of the space they were sheltering in. From there, the correspondences fluctuated like water, unexpected and at their own pace, as the first months of lockdown dripped and flooded.
Chinese Pagoda and Imperial Dynasty Parking I
C-print, 2018. N Green St & Visalia St, Hanford, CA
Some people are gone, they left things in buildings
Digital images, 2010–present. Partial archive from early Chinese immigrants in the United States, housed at China Alley in Hanford, CA.
Some buildings are gone, they left memories in people
Audio interviews, 2019–present. Partial oral histories from Chinese Americans currently living in or near Hanford, CA.
مهجر // The Red Star
Multi-channel video installation of the film مهجر // Mahjar, fluorescent acrylicInstallation at the Benton Museum, Pomona College, Claremont, California
مهجر // Mahjar
مهجر // LOVE Series
42 inches × 28 inches, Pigment print on photo rag 310gr. With UV protective laminate, Mounted on Aluminum Dibond, cotton, fluorescent acrylic