My work creates an uneasy environment that embodies my love-hate relationship with consumerism and pop culture and how they simultaneously perpetuate both ecstasy and extreme anxiety in quotidian life. In my videos, I act as an undercover agent trying to expose the absurdities of a manipulative social structure while at the same time humorously struggling and reveling in it as a participant. My latest work activates soap opera tropes to challenge the myth of the “model minority” to reveal the complexities that lie underneath the guise of superficial “perfection” of being both Asian-American and a woman.
My process includes performance. I often create characters that function as avatars that act out responses to contemporary society, negotiating issues of cultural identity and familial and personal relationships and gender roles. I induce intimate situations between my created personalities and the audience by staging my videos within installations that are pushed to exaggerated and imaginative levels. My videos and installations infiltrate the psychological and physical space of the viewer, giving form to a sort of vulnerability – a nervous laughter.
People often ask, “Why are you so happy all of the time?” and my response is “It’s better than crying.” Ultimately, in my work I would like to continue the exploration of humor as a complicated intersection where hope, happiness, anxiety, and darkness reside much like our society, a tension-filled existence of both criticality and complacency.