Performance on Friday, April 21, 2017
New Women Space, Brooklyn, NY
Duration: 2 hrs
INSCRIBE problematizes how Asian women are seen as “submissive” or “docile” as a result of fetishization and hypersexualization. Through participatory actions, an uncomfortable tension is formed between the audience and the performer, where the audience is invading one’s space and body not only physically but also metaphorically. This tension is used to heighten the participants’ attention to this issue, inverting the discomfort that Asian women often feel when being fetishized and objectified. The symbols of the stamps marked onto the body play off the Western social norms casting everything and everyone else as the exotic Other. Thus, INSCRIBE becomes an exaggerated act that emphasizes the issues of fetishization.
The second part, RECLAIM, demonstrates the hybridity of Asian American identity. Building simultaneously on a reappropriation of stereotypically “Asian” symbols and traditionally “western” garments, RECLAIM utilizes the act of dressing as a symbol of layering on multiple identities and complexities. Each garment presented during this act represents different ways in which Asian American women are seen through the lens of white hegemony, reappropriating “exotic” Asian symbols that are juxtaposed onto “western” garments and fabrications.
The process of layering in this act progresses as as solidifying of identity, beginning with the qipao--the symbol of the Other--and ending with the denim jacket, a staple “American” piece. Each piece illustrates ways that Asian women are exotified through the use of technique design and techniques.
Photography by Adele Pham