White Fragility (2019)

This work is modeled after the now-defunct International Prototype of the Kilogram (aka “Le Grand K”), which until recently was the global standard for the kilogram unit of mass. Carefully protected by a set of three nested bell jars under vacuum to guard against contamination or deterioration, it formed the basis for an essentially arbitrary system of measurement around which entire societies and economies were formed. 

Instead of being composed of precious metals, the cylinder housed inside the bell jars in this piece is made of a mixture of light shades of inexpensive drugstore makeup/face powder. The piece evokes the pseudoscientific vision that fabricated and enshrined the concept of race and “whiteness,” and the multilayered, systematic strategies used to defend and maintain an arbitrary paradigm. 

Chinese Restaurant Syndrome: The Search for a Cure (2019)

This is a personal piece addressing racial microaggressions. Instead of highlighting the voices of those making such remarks, I wanted to give voice to what it is like to be on the receiving end of this unending stream. These are thoughts, mostly unspoken, in response to actual conversations or situations I've been in. I used fortune cookies (an Asian-American invention) as a familiar and acceptable, if bland, delivery vehicle that people are willing to consume. 

(There is a disposition to consume without embrace, to consume people’s food, labor, culture, but with the understanding that they are other, they are lesser, their function is to serve.) 

Microaggressions are a symptom. They frequently veer into the farcical, but in the same way that sneezing can be funny. In the best case scenario, there may just be some dust in the air that needs to be cleared, but it’s often a sign of something more serious. Full-blown disease looks like children being separated from their families and crowded into cages or being forced to sleep on concrete floors in hunger and cold. It looks like babies in unchanged diapers, fed from unwashed bottles, and children unable to even wash their hands or brush their teeth, dying in immigrant detention centers. It looks like mass incarceration and state-sanctioned beating and killing of unarmed people.

Using Format