After a recent collaboration with artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, I face- booked him to say:
“You express my thoughts so well, like an echo from my heart.” He replied: “Barthes talks of ‘the joy of understanding and of being understood’ and this is what I feel when we make work and we converse.”
This kind of intimacy is what art and art-making is all about.
I am glad I abandoned myself to the collective gaze of Ying Wang and her amazing Grrrrrrrrl Gang who work for Cinevolution to produce the Your Kontinent Festival. Theirs is a Pan-Asian Gaze fromTaiwan to Hong Kong to Ankara to Brussels to Richmond. I learned so much about art and life by seeing my work reflected through their curatorial vision. It was revealing to see which of my works resonates with them: which work speaks to their lives as well as mine.
It was interesting to situate where we all were during key world events like 9/11, Tiananmen Square; as well as personal markers like when we first picked up a camera. I value our many art conversations in my kitchen: me and Cinevolution and then later the formal interviews we conducted with artists Tsuneko Kokubo, Eileen Kage and Lorna Boschman whom we interviewed on video about topics that arose from our explorations, research, conversations and tea parties…
As a working class artist, woman, mother, feminist, daughter of immigrants, former Burlesque Entertainer, former Teamster and general Hell-Raiser, I am grateful to be seen, heard and understood by the amazing WIMMIN of Cinevolution aka Your Kontinent . I am so grateful that these wimmin see me, hear me, understand me and want to share my work with you.
To be seen. To be heard. To be understood. Every artist and every citizen craves these things — more so if they live and make art in the margins.