SAD ASIAN GIRLS [Rice Ed.]

This two part performance art piece is a showcase of Asian female struggles relating to body image, mental health, and the model minority. I asked females at Rice to submit 1-2 sentences on each topic - the submissions were saddening but igniting. Despite the diverse backgrounds, all these women face the same oppressing powers: patriarchal traditions, contradicting expectations to be "good looking," etc. These are scientists, doctors, politicians, artists, and yet they still struggle to prove themselves. 

One part of this piece is an interactive mobile installation: a box-like structure with curtain walls made of paper chains with excerpts of the submissions written on them. Go ahead and enter, have a seat inside. You'll feel boxed in - boxed in by these stereotypes, slurs, oppressive moments. People don't see you, they see only bits of you through these curtains. But realize that your strength is hundreds of times greater than the wall. Easily push aside the curtain and leave the box (metaphorically. And literally, so someone else can get a turn inside.) 

The second part is a performance art piece by seven girls who chose to identify themselves in their submissions. In a fashion show of all-black outfits, these girls will tear down veils of oppression and walk to a soundtrack of recordings of them telling their stories. Black, in an outfit, symbolizes power. As Yohji Yamamoto says, black is modest and arrogant at the same time - which we all deserve to be, with all the great things we have accomplished. Black is saying: "I don't bother you - don't bother me." Combined with the cacophony of instrumentals and voice overs, the sensual experience of watching this performance should tell the viewer that we females don't need your interference to label us for box us in - we are too loud, too powerful, too bold. 

Models: Astha Mittal, Elaine Shen, Eva Ma, Gabriela Barrios, Kaysie Tam, Prakriti Baregala-Lopez
Installation help: Angelique Geehann and her beautiful daughters, Christine Mai,John Luke GarcíaJulia NgElizabeth HangCindy NguyenJungbin Lim, and Michael Do.