Recalling statements uttered to me during fleeting public interactions, this series sees those phrases enacted directly onto my body. I remember each encounter for how the other person’s words Othered and marked me. Radhika Monhanram’s assertion that “whiteness has the ability to move” and that this mobility results in an unmarked body, evokes the knowledge that I am forever located by the sex and colour of my skin. I think of all the places they have taken me, the places they have not let me go.
The title of this series is derived from Ien Ang’s influential book, On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West.
“If I am inescapably Chinese by descent, I am only sometimes Chinese by consent. Where and how is a matter of politics.Ien Ang
On the streets in Havana (chino, chino, chino), 8 in x 12 in, inkjet print, 2013/2016
Meeting a new friend in the 7th grade (do you eat dog?), 13 in x 9 in, inkjet print, 2013/2016
Upon entering a 7-Eleven (me love you long time), 10 in x 13, inkjet print, 2013/2016
In an artist’s studio (your lips are too ethnic), 13 in x 10, inkjet print, 2013/2016
On a sidewalk in Toronto (stupid chink), 13 in x 6, inkjet print, 2013/2016