2016 Commissioned Invitational AwardAlumni Commission. New piece “Love + Hate = Bad Names”. Commissioned by the NEXTNOW Festival by The Clarice, University of Maryland, City of College Park, MD
LH=BN was created out of the necessity of my position, condition and situation as I ventured into the world of the US dance scene in the Washington D.C. area. As a student on a student F1 visa, I graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park and I applied for the Optional Practical Training (OPT), which means that I was going to be working and earning a living solely as an educational and training process alone with a very modest stipend. Honestly, I was not able to live on the stipend and as I live the day-to-day life, my situation became much harder to cope with. In this, I was also trying to make a work while engaging with the socio-political terrain that I was working in as a dance artist. With no way of getting into a studio, and not much money to live on, I conceptualized this work in my bedroom. I rehearsed the entire process in the small bedroom that could only contain my bed and a small nightstand. When I received the commission to make a work, I was so beaten up by the sordid conditions that I found myself in as I tried to settle down on my own in the US. This commission not only brought me the opportunity to make a new work, but helped me to reconnect with the on familiar community that I have known during my time in the US.
Love + Hate = Bad Name came out of my desperation to live and survive as a newly migrated person to the US. A juxtaposition of opposing terms which was directed at my willingness to please everyone around me in order to be accepted, but also my ignorance that acceptance isn’t gotten from futile popularity appeal. This work questions what it means to be alive when living is all that you can hang on.