artist statement

I’m an interdisciplinary artist interested in geopolitics, social justice, queer glam, and decolonizing the body. I am concerned with the question of whether, and how, embodied healing and storytelling can be used to de-colonize the body and untangle entrenched assimilation. With this core question in mind, I make dance improvisation works, experimental theater, multimedia installations, and performance art that address political topics and histories.

My body — which is transgender, queer, mixed-race Indonesian-American— is non-binary and performs multiple identities, lineages, and border-crossings. As such, my art work is concerned with liminality, ambiguity, complexity, and non-linear storytelling.

My research process is cross-cultural — drawing largely from Southeast Asian mythology, archetypes, and parables I grew up hearing from my Indonesian family. I develop archetypal characters and drop them into contemporary performance environments to bridge past and present socio-political questions.

My body performs multiple and contradicting identities and lineages every day, which may not be legible to on-lookers. This body, my vehicle for performance, is transgender, queer, mixed-race, and non-binary. My work as an interdisciplinary artist is guided by the question of whether, and how, movement — embodied storytelling; physical healing and release; improvisation — can be a tool to de-colonize and de-socialize the body and untangle entrenched assimilation. Can we understand our bodies’ socialized movement and learned impulses in order to deconstruct it? Can we listen more deeply, past our learned movement, to untap knowledge in the muscles, bones, and fluids? Can we tap into de-colonized sensation, desire, history, and story-making?

My practice draws topically from geopolitics and social justice, and aesthetically from queer glam and club culture. I consider embodied healing core to my choreographic practice. I value dance for pleasure and improvisation as an “untrained” choreographer who grew up dancing in the parks, clubs, and concert venues of New York City. My work operates in the realms of liminality, ambiguity, complexity, and transmutability reflecting my non-binary ethnic, racial, and gender identities and honoring the perspectives and desires of the Queer/Trans, transnational, and People of Color communities I’m embedded in.

June 2018

on June 13 • by

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