Identity politics is at the center of my recent explorations. The barriers we create to define ourselves and our communities can be a point of contention, but my work strives to create a space for cross fertilization, where two or more cultures collide with thrilling results.
My work in China centers around the theme of beauty and the black body.
Is My Foot Bigger than Yours? This work was staged at the China Academy of Art Xiangshan Campus on April 26th, 2012. The aim was to create a space where people could feel comfortable to explore difference, much like the Interweave-Touch My Hair Series.
Money Tree was performed on the winter solstice, 2011, the darkest day of the year at West Lake Hangzhou, China. The location was West Lake, Hangzhou, and participants were asked to donate strands of their hair to be woven into money as a part of a money tree revival ritual.
Beauty Score, took place in July 2011, at the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou, China. It is a work created to address opposing concepts of beauty. In Chinese culture from ancient times until today, beauty has been equivalent to white clear skin. In an attempt to further grasp how black skin on a woman is perceived, Beauty Score was created.
Mad Woman Jammin’ was performed on October 22nd, 2011 at the 12 Annual Open Arts Festival Shanghai, China. It starts out as a colorful, playful exploration of the culture of dance and revelry at the core of Caribbean and African culture but the audience experiences a sudden and dramatic turn in mood and emphasis.
The Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake was performed at West Lake during the summer of 2011, Hangzhou China. This famous beautiful lake has long history, and the city of Hangzhou is often lauded as one of the most beautiful cities in China. In the summer of 2011, the West Lake was listed as a World Heritage site. Cai Qing and I visited the 10 famous spots on the lake and worked as artist and model to create this art event. Our aim was to challenge traditional Eastern concepts of beauty. For each of the 10 sites, I wore a new outfit and assessories, and Cai Qing used different media to portray the scene. Cai Qing is the first PHD graduate of the China Academy of Art with a doctorate in Performance Art Studies. He wore his cap and gown to signal his “authority” on what is beautiful. During the later sessions, I asked the audience to give me a beauty score as part of the Beauty Score series.
On the final day, after the artwork for the 10th spot was completed, cai Qing and I joined Shan Zeng our curator on a Hangzhou TV special.
Threads – The Wearable Art Fashion Show, was a collaboration with Juliana Cope at the Jersey City Museum in New Jersey, USA. The show opened with the festive piece Body Bootie, where Juliana and I used movement and materials to celebrate life, and the uninhibited joy of youth. I performed on stage in a colorful plastic crocheted costume while 8 months pregnant. As the opening piece this performance was perfectly contrasted with the closing piece, Undercovers: A Bespoke Burial Blanket which addressed the way some cultures prepare their dead for burial.
The Republic II: Huaxi Village was performed on November 19th, 2011 at the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China.
Color Gift was performed on October 22nd 2011 at the Shanghai 800 Art District Building, Shanghai, China.
The Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake was performed 6 days July 2011 on West Lake, Hangzhou, China. The TV interview for the show “Forum by Qiantang River 2011.08.13” of the artists Glenis Paul and Cai Qing and Curator was filmed on the final day.
Threads – The Wearable Art Fashion Show took place on February 24th, 2008 at the Jersey City Museum, New Jersey, USA
Stripped/Strapped was performed in July 2004, New York, USA.