Body is political. Working within the gap between body as image and body as experienced reality, Dong uses the body—often her own body— as a visual territory in her work and a primary material to activate social commentary on immigration, race and gender. By encapsulating these global issues in microcosm or magnifying personal predicaments until they become universally visible, she presents the body as an embodiment of dynamic human relations, locating herself at the nexus of author, artwork and audience.
Her artistic practice is based in performance art, photography and video, in which she explores themes of “East/West” and “self/other” within the contemporary context of global feminism. Her work deals mainly with cultural intersections created by globalization and asks what it means to be a citizen of the world today. She opens dialogues about “deterritorialization” and “disessentialization” in culture and how to transform socio-political landscapes through gestures. The gestures in her work are symbolic and metaphoric—at times subversive, meditative, subtle and/or humorous. They express her desire to transform everyday political life into art, as she strives to instill a model for social transformation. In her earlier works, the body represented an ideological confrontation or political alienation. She developed the idea of representation as a political tool to give visibility to those made invisible by dominant ideologies. In her newer works, she views the body as a bridge connecting East and West, past and present, creating a new version of hybridity and striving to transcend and mend.
Chun Hua Catherine Dong, born in China, is a visual artist working with performance, photography, and video. She received a MFA from Concordia University and a BFA from Emily Carr University Art & Design in Canada. She has performed in multiple international performance art festivals and venues, such as, The Great American Performance Art in New York, Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival in Chicago, Infr’Action in Venice, Dublin Live Art Festival in Dublin, Miami Performance International Festival, Kaunas Biennial in Lithuania, 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto, Experimental Action/ Performance Art in Houston, ENCUENTRO Performance in Santiago, Internationales Festival für Performance in Mannheim, Place des Arts in Montreal, and so on.
She has exhibited her works at Quebec City Biennial, Fernando Pradilla Gallery in Madrid, The Schusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow, Canadian Museum of Immigration, Gera Museum in Vrsac, New Art Center in Boston, The Others Art Fair in Turin, Delhi Photo Festival in Delhi, The Aine Art Museum in Tornio, Art Museum at University of Toronto in Toronto, Articule in Montreal. Her video work has been screened in Brazil, Mexico, Finland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Colombia, Spain, The Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland, China, USA, and Canada.
Among many other awards and grants, she is the recipient of Franklin Furnace Award for contemporary avant-garde art in New York in 2014. Her performance is featured at Marina Abramovic Institute and listed amongst the ‘‘Top Nine Political Art Projects of 2010’’ by Art and Threat magazine. Dong now lives in Montreal.
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