Artists in Conversation, Exploring Queer Japanese Diasporic Art: Laura Kina and Chanel Matsunami Govreau (Queen Gidrea)
The Courtauld Institute of Art BAME and LGBTQ+ Societies present ‘Artists in Conversation: Exploring Queer Japanese Diasporic Art: Laura Kina and Chanel Matsunami Govreau (Queen Gidrea)’
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Laura Kina (she/her/hers) is a Chicago-based artist and scholar.She is Vincent de Paul Professor The Art School and Director Critical Ethnic Studies at DePaul University. Contemporary Asian American art; Okinawan, mixed race, and critical ethnic studies; and feminist/queer theory form the nexus of her intersectional art and scholarship. A 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist-in-Residence and a 2020 Art Matters Foundation grantee, Kina has exhibited at India Habitat Centre and India International Centre, Nehuru Art Centre, Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, Japanese American National Museum, Rose Art Museum, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Spertus Museum, and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, amongst others. Kina is co-editor of Queering Contemporary Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2017) and War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). In 2019, Bess Press published her trilingual (Pidgin/Japanese/Uchinaaguchi) illustrated children’s book Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos written by Lee A. Tonouchi. She serves as reviews editor for the Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (Brill), event editor for American Quarterly, and series editor for Critical Ethnic Studies and Visual Culture (University of Washington Press).
Chanel Matsunami Govreau/QueenGidrea (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY who explores the intersections of sexuality, queerness, and Japanese-American identity. In her recent work, she references traditional monsters of Japanese folklore, known as yokai, through a series of self portraits and installations. In this ongoing project, they aim to embody the hidden and forgotten queer and female ancestors of their family by reimaging them as contemporary yokai creatures. Through this practice, she uses her body to transform the often villainous and horrific portrayals of Japanese yokai monsters into aspirational femme figures empowered with the magic, glamour and camp of their queer identities. They have exhibited at SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA; Chashama, New York, NY; Holding House, Detroit, MI; FLXST Gallery, Chicago, IL: and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, WA. Matsunami Govreau has given numerous artist talks at universities and colleges including Parson’s School of Design, New York, NY; College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI; and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA. Their work has appeared in publications such as the Observer, Bitch Magazine and Juxtapoze Online. Matsunami Govreau received their BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 where they studied performance, printmaking and Asian American Studies. https://www.queengidrea.com/index.php