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‘Mulan, Make Up!’ A Contemporary Queer Art Exhibition opens in Westwood

A performance at Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles. – Courtesy photo / Facebook, @taiwanacademyla

Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles is proud to present Mulan, Make Up! Queer Art Exhibition from Feb. 22 to April 6 2019. Curated by Yu Cheng-Ta, Mulan, Make Up! is a multidisciplinary exhibition combining film screenings, a visual arts exhibition, and a series of performances. Through a discussion about the appearance of gender and the body in a contemporary context, the exhibition seeks to investigate the politics of the body from a global mindset, and to strip down gender to its most raw form. The opening reception will be held at 7pm on Friday, February 22 at Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles. Hua Mulan is a well-known figure from Chinese literature who famously took her father’s place in the army by dressing up as a man. For Mulan, Make Up! Hua Mulan acts as a symbolic figure to open up societal stereotypes and dispel the traditional binaries of yin and yang, spirit and body, hardness and softness, thereby pushing self-identity beyond the two-dimensional framework of gender.

Mulan, Make Up! will feature 6 pieces of work by four Taiwanese artists and two Los Angeles-based artists. Hou Chun-Ming, an artist with a bold, creative style and the courage to address taboos, will present his latest work Body Map, a series to further explore both the pursuit and lack of desire in the human body. Taking the body as his main creative medium, performance artist River Lin will present a new commission performance Huxian Memorial Hall to recount a brief history of the “Fox Fairy” and its various manifestations in popular culture, inviting the audience to reflect on this historical queer icon. Luo Jr-Shin, using the form of the ready-made as the theme for his works, will present In Budding, in Blooming, in Withering, in which the artist prints images of anti-AIDS pamphlets which were popular in the West during the 80’s onto glass bathroom shelves. Young photographer Su MiSu, whose works draw attention to sexual diversity, BDSM, and LGBTQ issues, will present I Am a Fake But My Heart Is True, a series of photographic work that uses the image of Guanyin Bodhisattva in the traditional Taoist belief as a metaphor for the spread of viral internet sensations under capitalism in recent years. Taiwan Academy is located at 1137 Westwood Blvd. in Los Angeles

In addition, Mexican-American artist Sebastian Hernandez will bring a new performance piece to the exhibition opening, and Mutant Salon, created by Korean-American artist Young Joon Kwak, will present Attack Sustain Release Decay, a video work created in collaboration with Experimental Half Hour and Project Rage Queen.

All of the participating artists center their work around the dichotomy of the physical body, offering different ways to think through how the transformation of the body can transcend culture, history, tradition, and gender identity. In a time when digital information is exploding and the human body has been liquified, these works ask us to contemplate whether or not individuality, an inimitable essence, is still possible, and to examine the meaning of existence in a consumer society where desire has already died.

Besides the opening reception on Feb. 22, there will also be a Special Screening and Performance Party at human Resources on March 2, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.

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