Queer artist Wu Tsang to appear in Troy at RPI

Wu Tsang. Photo by Graeme Mitchell


Wu Tsang appears with a brand new stage work at RPI’s Experimental Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in Troy, New York on April 15 in a show that is both personal and groundbreaking. She appears with Boychild and cellist Patrick Belaga. It’s tempting to make the trip to see what the cutting edge of queer art is like. It is covered in great detail with photos and video in Berkshireonstage.com

Though far from the age of Rainbow Seniorhood, Wu Tsang is nevertheless a role model for all ages. Born a man, Tsang styles himself androgynously, purposely existing somewhere between straightforward, rote notions of masculinity and femininity. In fact, the half-Chinese, half-Swedish-American artist calls himself a “terrible drag performer,” but in his films and live performances Tsang captures some of that gender ambiguity.

The bar where her film Wildness started, Silver Platter, operated as a safe space to many in the Latino trans community, people who fall somewhere on the LGBT spectrum but for whom, according to Tsang, “there’s no words for it.” It was in the bar, Tsang says, that their identities made most sense. “Inside Silver Platter, a lot of people feel very welcome,” says Tsang. “It has to do with queerness.”


WU TSANG is moving forward as a artist, performer and filmmaker. Her films, performances, and installations have been presented at museums and film festivals internationally. Tsang’s first feature Wildness (2012) premiered at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at OUTFEST Los Angeles. Her recent short You’re Dead to Me premiered on PBS and won the 2014 Imagen Award for Best Short. Tsang has presented projects at the Tate Modern (London), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Whitney Museum and the New Museum (New York), the Hammer Museum and MOCA (Los Angeles), Gwangju Biennial (South Korea), Liverpool Biennial (UK), and the 2012 Whitney Biennial (New York). Tsang is a 2014 Rockerfeller Bellagio Creative Arts Fellow and a 2015 Creative Capital Fellow.

Report by Larry Murray

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