WHO Monyee Chau, the 22-year-old artist, event coordinator and service specialist at Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Chau was born and raised in Seattle but her family immigrated from Taiwan and Hong Kong in the ’70s and ’80s and opened a restaurant in the International District where Chau spent her weekends as a child. Her recent multimedia work—encompassing paintings, sculpture and textile—focuses on ancestral healing through the lens of family history and an acknowledgment of the labor of women and femmes of color.
THE LOOK “My style is about redefining what it means to be Asian American, about being authentically me. Lots of black or red, a scarf or big earrings, and winged eyeliner with dots and hearts. My favorite piece is an embroidered Budweiser Nascar jacket: as a 5’ 2” Asian girl it helps support my you can look, you can admire, but don’t fuck with me vibe. There isn’t enough visibility for individuality in the queer Asian American community, and that’s why I’m here—to stunt, be extra and shake up your views.”
ICONS “My community of queer folk inspires. There’s so much love of individuality and so much to loving your body for exactly what it is, which was something I struggled with. My ahma [grandmother] also was much shorter than I was, but she wore fur coats with her initials embroidered and high heels even when she could barely walk. It feels healing to wear the clothes she left for me. She knew how to stunt and I’m learning that courage from her.”
UP NEXT This month look for Chau’s work in the Bellwether exhibit in Bellevue as well as the 2018 Cornish College of the Arts BFA exhibit at Fred Hutch, which Chau helped curate. With fellow artist Adam Makkar, Chau is developing a series of artist talks called “A Mouthful,” engaging sommeliers, chefs and community members from a range of professions on the subject of decolonization and its role in the art community. More at chinesebornamerican.com.