Performing Identities is an ongoing iterative series of work exploring identity and the East and Southeast Asian [ESEA] diasporas. Through collaboration with other ESEA artists and wider communities, Eelyn is seeking to discover embodied modes of expression for complex identities, whilst testing the emergent ESEA label as an effective mode of categorisation.
Harmful myths around ESEA identity are often reduced to either ‘model minority’ - quiet, hardworking and studious - or ‘insidious threat’, as incarnate in the racist character Dr Fu Manchu. The COVID-related Asian Hate, together with the escalation of the Black Lives Matter movement, has motivated many ESEA people to challenge stereotypes and build community. By drawing on lived experiences, personal cosmologies and knowledge sharing, collaborators are collectively imagining new performance aesthetics as means of self-expressing identity. At the end of each cycle of creation the findings are performed as methods of resistance, resilience and re-imagining.