Theater am Markt

Performative Action "Who is Mai Ling?" & Panel-Talk "Anti-Asian Racism in the Arts" / Fr 24.3.2023

Founded in 2019 in Vienna, the artist collective and association Mai Ling is a platform to share experiences, struggles, and practices of anti-racism, sexism, and homophobia especially against Asian FLINT*. “Mai Ling,” a fictional figure scripted by a German comedian in 1979, embodies a submissive hybrid stereotype of an Asian woman. Mai Ling re-narrates and reclaims “Mai Ling” with collective voices and identities.

Mai Ling has been exploring the sense of comfort, care, pleasure, and community while re-narrating the migration history and politics of food from Asian, diasporic, migrant perspectives. More recently, Mai Ling has taken a critical view toward the racialized and feminized logic of Ornamentalism that has been embedded in the history and aesthetic of Western culture. Ornamentalism opens up the discussion on the artisanal, synthetic, technological, and aesthetic processes of producing such fantasies, unveiling and challenging normative notions of race, personhood, and the human, as well as the categories that modernism and Orientalism have constructed. In the context of aesthetical adaptation of the ‘exotic,’ ornamentalization and exoticization of the foreign are not limited to human bodies but also migratory plant species and food cultures.

On this evening, Mai Ling creates a discursive space for learning and exchanging through food and plants in which everyone is invited to explore collective pleasure and multilayered agency of being, becoming, and surviving.

The event will be followed by the panel talk "Anti-Asian Racism in the Arts" (in german language), moderated by Vina Yun.

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