Beatrice Glow

2016 Residency: January through April

Believing that all cultures, landmasses, and islands are connected underwater, my work navigates the diasporic and economic circulations between Asia and the Americas. I am interested in geopolitical peripheries lying in the long shadows of colonialism that, through the centuries, have often become islands floating in the fragmented diasporic memory. I shatter the silence enveloping smothered narratives, gender and racial inequalities, histories of othering, and erroneous social imaginaries through sculptural installations in public space, participatory performances, bridging communities, drawing, dissecting folk etymology, performance-lectures, olfactory art and virtual and augmented reality platforms. My visual vocabulary draws from a broad spectrum of materials including colonial aesthetics, 18th century botanical expeditions, marine biology, anthropology, visual culture, and populist myths.

To illustrate this process, in 2008, what began with a search for my family in Argentina led me to retrace the escape route of 19th century Asian coolie laborers through Peru’s plantations, highlands, and the Amazons. The results can be experienced through a trilingual publication, video, oral history interviews, and a Migratory Museum of artifacts from the journey. This interest in migration continues into prehistoric transpacific voyages that spread the Austronesian language throughout the Pacific, and sails into the Age of Exploration when the desire for spices launched thousands of ships and networked the first global economy.

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