About the artist
Having spent a majority of my lifetime training in various forms of dance, I was always very aware of my body – how it moved, how it felt, how it looked. As I transitioned out of the dance world and into the art world, I started to ask more specific questions:
What is this body? What is this skin? What is this color? On this person? On this performer? My body? My performance? And, what changes when it’s my work, but a new body? Out of context?
My time at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago allowed me the space to experiment and explore how race, history, memory, and body interact with one another. Through performance and writing, I work to explore the ways in which my personal history and experiences overlap with the world around me. I draw on memories of displacement, confusion, and loneliness to explore the position of the brown body in today’s America.
Being a child of immigrants, I found myself straddling a line between two cultures – diaspora. A game changer. A phrase and concept that brought together all the thoughts and experience of my life in one word. Sort of…
Diaspora: “the dispersion of any people from their original homeland.”
Sort of… Because, I haven’t been ‘dispersed’ from my homeland. I am in a homeland that doesn’t always count me as theirs. This is what my work is about. The push and pull between learned behavior and expectation of society. The dual personality that many immigrants and immigrant children have – one for each culture. The deep and painful loss of family over a distance that only solidifies it. The assimilation that stifles. The performativity of knowledge and success to show that we are ‘worthy.” The list goes on.
With my body, I am able to explore these concepts because I embody these concepts. To the foreigner, I too am a foreigner. To the citizen, I too am a citizen. Assumptions and expectations of others to be someone or something that fulfills their quota. It all starts with a simple question:
Where are you from?