"Gypsies' Picnic: The veins of Oya was always here", 2014-15.
Performance, Mixed media Installation
Organic produce, wicker baskets, vinyl tablecloths.
Inspired by the artist’s grandmother’s kitsch style kitchen decor, the Jamaican marketplace, and Chinese Lazy Susans, vinyl table clothes are sewn together and placed with baskets to convey the idea of a communal event. Reminiscent of the African Oritia, Oya, the mother of nine, this piece has baskets containing nine ingredients commonly used in both Jamaican and Chinese cuisines.
The African diaspora, European colonialism and Chinese migration make up significant parts of my origin story. The ancestral convergence in Jamaica (slave owners, slaves and migrant workers) followed by my family’s immigration to the United States, informs my artistic practice.
Through installation and performance, I use the symbols of my hybrid culture to critique the effects of the global economy on my history and the present. The performance series, Gypsies’ Picnic, explores the traditions of these disparate cultures influenced by the Caribbean Quadrille dress, Victorian style picnic, and the Chinese Lazy Susan.
This work has been exhibited and performed at the following venues:
Dumbo Arts Festival in "Concrete Muse", Brooklyn, N.Y. 2015
"TBS04: Time Body Space Objects 4" , Spectacle Island, Boston, M.A. 2015
Royal West of England Academy, ‘’Jamaican Pulse: Art and Politics from Jamaica and the Diaspora”, Bristol, ENGLAND (catalog) 2016
"The Lost Tribe of Mount Madagascar", 2014.
A site-specific mixed media installation and performance.
(Salt, fire, wood, food, plants, audio)
2 hours, (participatory) –audience dependent
Just off the shore in Staten Island there is a salt mountain where the native woman walks onto the scene.
In “The Lost Tribe of Mount Madagascar” a tribal woman appears by her ‘salt’ hillside with her harvest and prepares it for her stately visitors on Staten Island. Using natural elements from exotic places the artist hopes to create a multi-sensory experience of an exotic tropical place back in time of discovery.
A pot of Jamaican ‘saltfish’ or codfish / baccallao is cooked on site and shared among those who participate. Followed by the artist’s ritualistic distribution of the succulent plant Bryophyllum Pinnatum, or ‘Leaf of Life’, (native to Madagascar) also used in her homeland Jamaica as a natural remedy. It’s amazing widespread naturalization also captivated the writer Johan Wolfgang von Goethe as he often gave the baby plantlets to his friends who visited his home.
Given to the artist by a friend who visited Jamaica and who was given a leaf from Peter Tosh’s garden it is the artist’s intention to widely propagate this plant by giving each one a leaf.
See press review in Incident Magazine by David LaGaccia.
“Out of Many One People”, 2014.
Performance. 15 minutes
In “Out of Many One People” the recent state of events in Jamaica has become the focus of this work. The possibility of constructing a trans-shipment hub at Goat Islands, located off the south coast of St Catherine, Jamaica has been in debate with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) in Beijing, China. The (CHEC) wants is 3,000 acres of land to build a shipping port. The government is aiming for the hub to be in operations by 2015 in order to coincide with the reopening of the Panama Canal. However, the building of this port would create a devastating impact to the Goat Islands and the surrounding coastal environment.
According to the Jamaica Environment Trust and the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation the destruction of mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, and endangered species could lead up to the degradation of the ancient dry limestone forest of Hellshire Hills and would only bring on the brink of an ecological disaster to the Portland Bight Protected Area.
Yet the Jamaican government is seeing this as a win-win opportunity with the CHEC as the CHEC promises to deliver 10,000 jobs to Jamaica.
In the performance “Out of Many One People” named after Jamaica’s national motto, and Jamaica’s meaning “Land of Wood and Water” may no longer be that. Moving images of Jamaica are projected onto the wall and plays for the entire duration. I will be running in place in front of the projection for the full length of the performance to reggae music. By doing this action I hope to add another layer of what we may commonly associate with Jamaica- the best track & field teams in history. So much glamour and praise is placed upon these athletes and the music year round that as not much seems to be said about the degradation of Jamaica’s natural landscape during the process of ‘economic development’. It goes without saying that Jamaica’s tourism may also feel the effects of such an investment. Why would tourists want to visit Jamaica if the environment is not environmentally safe, protected or socially responsible? Paradise may be lost but we can help it to prevail.
Sign the petition:
"The Calling of the Light: The Mystic Powers of Tathagata"
Performance. 30 minutes
The term, Tathagata is often thought to mean either "one who has thus gone" or "one who has thus arrived".
It is another name for the historical Buddha, Siddharta and replaces the pronouns, “I or myself”. Here the artist, Lyn-Kee-Chow
performs a ritualistic and transient experience using lights and visual imagery of the lotus flower.
"The Calling of the Light", 2014.
Performance. 10 minutes
On a deserted shore a woman awaits and marks time.
She announces echoes of poets in distant places.
While the words emanate into the atmosphere it is with hope that the vibration of sounds reveal something truly bright.
Performance and embroidered dress.
This piece addresses large manufacturers and the exploitation of factory labor in the developing world. Manufacturers like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger and many more have abused their workers with below living wages and unsafe working and living conditions. “Behind the Swoosh” (2011) a documentary film by Jim Keady delves into this topic and has influenced this performance.
In the performance I appear on the set where there is a sewing machine and I begin sewing the tongues of a pair of name brand sneakers. Then I embroider a dress, filling in the last word that reads; “ABLE”. When the dress is finished I put it off to the side of the table and remove my pants, revealing panties with embroidery saying “HELP” on the front and “US” on the back. I prepare to sleep on the floor and after a few seconds I get up and out falls a spool of red thread onto the floor from my panties where the thread is attached. The spool spins uncontrollably on the floor. I then pick up the end of the thread and began to sew members of the audience’s clothes together. When the tension was tight with the thread I knotted it into someone’s clothes and walked over to the table with the needle, where I undress and show my bra saying the word “PLEASE”. (The whole phrase is revealed saying “PLEASE HELP US”). Then I put the dress on which reads around it’s periphery a quote by Nichiren Diashonin: " If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they can achieve nothing remarkable. (WND, 618)". I proceeded to spin around continuously until I got dizzy and so that the audience could read my dress.
Quote by Nichiren Diashonin: " If the spirit of many in body but one in mind prevails among the people, they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they can achieve nothing remarkable." (WND, 618) Photo documentation by : Maria Fernanda Hubeaut —
"Gone gold", 2013.
Performance. 15 minutes
In the performance, “Gone gold” members of the audience are invited to partake in an ancient recreational pastime. The artist hopes to illustrate moments of leisure, tranquility, danger and renewal by being the force in each of the activities that occur with live fish.
This is a presentational and participatory performance that should be approximately 20 minutes.
In the score, members of the audience are invited to participate in the act of fishing.
The artist will carry out such items needed to perform this act.
*This act may be offensive to those who are strict vegans or vegetarians.
Check this out on vimeo!
"The Peaceful Army”, 2013-14.
Performance & props : wood, foamcore, acrylic, paper. 60"x 34"x 40"
A peaceful parade of soldiers can be seen as a vision of green grass beneath unpolluted air and all that lives within such a landscape. Rather than guns blue skies pave the way for what could be a sigh of relief and comments on the reality of the state of our world, full of curruption and pollution. But this may depend on the angle in which you (the viewer) may stand.
In a world with so much turmoil and destruction peaceful moments are desired.
Inspired by a recent visit to China, a place of smoggy skies and where the military is ever so present only thoughts of dictatorship and control comes to mind rather than just protection. It is not only in China where this military presence exists, but perhaps its everywhere. If only guns were no longer present.
"The Dawn of the Hurricane”, 2007-13. Video and performance.
In "The Dawn of the Hurricane" a few moments are captured on the very dawn of Hurricane Dean, which hit Jamaica in 2007 leaving significant damage and eight people dead. Perhaps the character simply is taken in by the lush greenery and sea breeze while on a stroll. The artist /performer aims to illustrate the beautiful moments of calm before the storm in the countryside of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.
“Wo shi yi ge zi sun”, 2013. Performance. 12 minutes
Adapted from a previous piece titled "Wǒ zhǐshì yīgè hòudài. (I am just a descendant)"
This piece is about migration, identity, multi-culturalism, the common threads and fragmented natural landscapes that we share as Westernized society that has adapted from Eastern Culture.
In traditional Chinese dress I entered the gallery filled with an audience and proceeded to orate the story of the voyages of the Chinese to Jamaica, the story of the Hakka voyage to the Caribbean and mainly to the Panama Canal. I then sat in front of an aquarium (that was set on a wheeled platform) with Koi fish for a few minutes staring quietly. Then I took three paper boats from my handbag and placed them in the aquarium. They floated for a few minutes and I leaned over and performed a series of actions while sticking my head in the water while moving with the aquarium. I then took my wet head out of the water and took off my dress. There I revealed a Jamaican tank top and black leggings while at the opposite side of the aquarium. I walked around to the audience stared them in the face while fanning myself dry. I also gave them Chinese fans to help fan me dry. I went back to the tank and fed the fish. I sat there for a minute and unfolded the wet paper boats. I placed each one on the floor in particular order to read the translation of the titled words, “Wo shi yi ge zi sun” meaning “I am a descendant”.
I orate a story of the voyage of the Chinese Hakka people to the Caribbean and to the Panama Canal. I then sat in front of an aquarium (that was set on a wheeled platform) with Koi fish and performed a series of actions with hand fans and paper boats while revealing a complete character transformation.
"In medias res...(into the middle of things)", 2013.
Performance, mixed media installation.
A night scape is to be experienced with multiple images of an endangered species of migrating shorebirds.
The viewer is invited to experience the piece one person at a time for a few minutes where the artist will hold an intimate conversation occasionally offering a beverage. The installation remains to be viewed at one’s own leisure.
In the background of this installation there is another video titled "Shenzhen Water", 2013.
Shenzhen, China (Guandong) a tropical and exotic landscape is constantly changing into a more modernized, commercial and concrete one. It is this eradication of the natural landscape that intrigued me to document this transition. In the midst of it all, a boat sails in the middle of the horizon, fishermen dunk their baits, a bird enters and leaves the scene as the sounds of construction echo.
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