PLASTIC CLIMBS (2021-2022)
'plastic climbs' is a movement documentation capturing the multiplicity a mixed-Asian woman holds in her body. As a gnomic media art video, various dimensions and forms of self emerge within a flashing pastel space. The sound is curated to seem alarming against the fragility of the moving body and her plastic extensions. The camera peers over her, surveys her, sensualizes her. Re-generating her generation, she reclaims ideas of delicacy as the epistemological outlet; to the ownership of her body.
ABOUT THE WORK:
Currently, I feel a disconnection with my Asian identity. Growing up, it wasn’t really conditioned within my upbringing, as this generated my own diaspora culture; My experience is contemporary within my personal moments and ancestry. “plastic climbs” illustrates the multiplicity I am as a mixed-Asian woman, and depicts my body exposed and censored by this interactive plastic. I compare this idea of “hiding” my body with a transparent material with that disconnection with my Asian identity, and the things that make up who I am as a whole that I may not fully understand. A friend of mine once said that it’s okay that I’m still learning about my heritage and that it’s okay that I’m not creating visually “oriental” art because that is not my whole truth.
I'm interested in how this piece connects to feeling displaced, delicate, and how the body interacts with the plastic. Capturing an exposed body was important to emulate that feeling of being seen as “exotic,” feeling sensualized as a POC, and reclaiming ideas of delicacy and exposure as the epistemological outlet; to the ownership of my body.
This piece was made with the support of Future Leisure’s Digital Performance Exploration Lab last summer, under the direction of Julianne Chapple. They are a Vancouver-based dance and performance organization dedicated to contemporary movement. “plastic climbs” was filmed using chroma paper, and keying the background out to imagine my own dreamscape world. As an artist, I’m very drawn to inanimate objects and how they can relate to intimacy, vulnerability, and empathy. Experimenting with plastic material and body movement allowed space for restrictive and vulnerable feelings. Activating relationship with perspective and tactility was something I was improvising with. By filming from above, I found this added a point of view of surveillance within an unusual relationship to material. During the filming process, being engaged with my own body movement and this restrictive, yet transparent material revealed feelings of exposure that could only be shared through digital media.