Artists: Avita Jinhong Guo, Ho Rui An, Lau Wai, Zhangbolong Liu, Ming Wong, Wuji Ye, Yu Cheng-Ta, Yu Guo
Curator: Leo Li Chen
Identity politics seems to have become a highly conceptualized and abstract issue. Regardless of our detailed storytelling, emotional revelations, or investigate, embrace, or even abandon the marks on our bodies without reservations, we’d be nevertheless unable to circumvent from subjective categorization or otherness. We tirelessly answer the questions of “Who are you?” “Where are you from?” but people are rarely interested in asking, “Where are you headed?”
To the extent of, we are immersed in the effectiveness of such annotations and began to perform them. This continuously enhanced performance is one’s claim of identity, which by no means alleviates one’s anxiety about it. Moreover, in a moment of crisis externally, such coordinates established under relative frameworks may seem fragile. Without an objective reference, the subject is compelled to break away from the universal for new ways of identification.
Nation, ethnicity, border, gender, and generation are some of the vocabularies that haunt the individual. Once we resort to language, their distinctive dichotomies inescapably point us to the embodiments of otherness. The video works present in “Diagonal” reveal a degree of self-exposure: how does the notion of Asia shaped and expanded through individual interactions; the various types absurdities invoked in everyday life within the context of otherness in both the East and West; the different types of alienation of the queer body in traditional and popular culture; the border, to an individual, is the center.
These listed frameworks are not conceived to set an enclosed limit but reveal an overlapping resonance. More importantly, the so-called subject matter languages fail to iterate address the artist’s most earnest lived experiences, extracted from their respective living environments, and thereby translated into general and universal interrogations. The performativity of the subject, present or absent, conveyed through the moving image’s multifarious languages, braids together the discussion on identity politics and self-claim. The works on view encompass a variety of positions, be it historical, geographical, or cross-cultural, which address the collapse of individual circumstances, and the desire to reclaimed despite being in a deviated unstable and displaced gap.