“mined:remind” was a meditative excavation of histories. The work marked eighteen months of research in which I embedded myself in a deep reflection of my Asian identity in relationship to Asian America. It allowed me to (one), question the history lessons taught to me in public schools in comparison to information shared by my immigrant parents and (two identify racial lenses placed upon me by communities in varying geographic locations and the language used to define multiracial identities in the United States.
“mined:remind” was an installation and performance. Audience members navigated the garden around gold Mylar curtains, hanging bells, items of clothing, offerings of food, newspaper clippings, and related articles. The performance began as I shifted three bags of dirt in my arms, slowly letting the dirt completely pour out as I rotated in place. The sound emanated from my back, where a speaker was hidden between clothing layers. The sound included readings and noise from previous research performances and Cantonese pop songs. As I progressed through the garden, I took down the newspaper clippings and articles that were related to the work’s proposition and attached them onto my wire fence costume. I used the structure of the wire fencing to lift the writing works up and down through the audience, allowing them glimpses of the research and actions already done on similar topics within Asian American communities.
After all the literature was taken down, a shift to a garment made out of yellow caution tape and gold Mylar strands occurred. The wire fence costume, with its new attachments, was hung at the top of the garden, reminiscent of an altar. As I progressed back through the audience, the gold-yellow garment was used, through improvisational movement, to both obscure and reveal my face, asking the audience to think about how the language used to identify Asians in America both erases and supports multifaceted identities. I concluded by passing out Chinese red packets, typically given to family members to celebrate Chinese New Year. Inside were New York wildflower seeds and an invitation to the audience to revisit their own roots.
“mined:remind” was not the conclusion of this project, it was merely a time to reflect with my community on the work that I, my peers, and my elders have already done to continue to diversify, understand, and celebrate what it means to be Asian-identifying within the United States.