My recent work looks at social hierarchies, such as racism and immigrant issues, that are present in my everyday life and in mass media and history. I then present them effectively to visualize my concerns, question the status quo, and take action to solve the issues.
I have been approaching my practice in two different ways. First, in my performances I use language directly in the form of lectures, stand-up comedy routines, or one-on-one conversations to engage closely with the audience.
You Are the Reason Why I’m Not Like You, for example, is a stand-up comedy routine in which I talk about my relationship with my dad and connect it to my relationship with “father figures” in the art world. Because of the connection, the audience can understand the comedy as a metaphor for the struggle of a young immigrant artist.
My most recent performance is part of a project titled Graduation Kit for International Art Students. I made a homonymous booklet in which I put together all the information I learned about the O-1 visa process and the American health care system after my graduation. In a group show, I gave one-on-one consultations to international art students planning to stay in the U.S. and survive as artists. This performance functions as an actual helpful consultation for the international students, and it brings this issue to the fore for general audiences.
Second, I make sculptures and installations that encourage the audience to acknowledge the violence embedded in our bodies and mindsets by collecting, presenting, editing, and manipulating quotes and images from various media. Elements of my sculptures and installation—life-cast body parts, fabricated furniture, materials extended from architectural spaces—serve as frames and containers for the collected materials that represent the ubiquitous political and cultural landscapes.
My solo show, I’ll convince you that I don’t need to convince you, was an installation comprising found articles, sculptures, and videos about racist jokes and racial stereotypes about immigrants in the American context. While architectural materials such as metal conduits and copper pipes connect the small works to the gallery and the building, which themselves are connected to the infrastructure of the city of Los Angeles, each sculpture directly or metaphorically shows different tips of the iceberg of cultural oppression.
In sum, my artistic goal is to parse the institutional hierarchies against marginalized groups from our quotidian language, present everyday struggles, and suggest possible actions that can be progressive.