It’s Complicated, 2019
Holographic Metalized Polyester Vinyl
2 x 14′

It’s Complicated is a reactionary response to questions such as “where are you from”, “why are you here”, and the need to position migration as a dualistic them and us, here to there conversation. The phrase encapsulates the awkward and convoluted nature of discussing diasporic existence and the struggle of transcending identity politics through art. By using humour to defer the more complicated subject matter that it references, the work elicits a sense of refusal to engage. Who is in on the joke? Who is laughing? Are they laughing with or at us? It is a chuckle or a cackle? United under the umbrella term that attempts to capture complex multiplicities, It’s Complicated re-envisions the generalization of diasporic communities as a unifying term, which celebrates multifaceted journeys and stories.

This site-specific installation was commissioned for an event organized by New Ho Queen at the Gardiner Museum as part of the public programming for the exhibition, Ai Weiwei: Unbroken. The Toronto-based queer Asian collective curated an event that aims to break down walls and boundaries, and through the lens of queer Asian artists, explore how building bridges and fostering chosen families create subcultural spaces for expression and longing.