Tina Wang is a performance artist based in New York City. Identity, fragility, and resilience are key themes in her work, which draws on her experience as a Taiwanese citizen raised in Latin America and her decade of work across the gig economy (service, dance, translation, yoga). Her performances immerse the body around the objects of menial labor. She seeks to challenge assumptions about where these objects belong, who belongs with them, and their difference from living bodies. Recently, Tina was a mentee in the NYFA Immigrant Artist Program, participant in Creative Capital's taller para artistas profesionales, and guest artist at The Sable Project. Her work has been shown at Judson Church, New York Live Arts, Governor's Island, The Exponential Festival, Nimbus Dance, Chashasma, Radiator Gallery, Radio Bushwick, Salvatore Capezio Theater, RESOBOX, to name a few.
In live performances, I reflect on the fracturing of identities by making body parts and moving objects appear to dismember each other. My work uses densely textured objects to rethink the unity of the body and the life of objects. The exploration during performances concerns how the body can be visually discomposed into object parts and, conversely, how objects can be fashioned to a person. How does the stuff we use become part of us? How do we become mere stuff? In order to emphasize each object and body part’s independence, I perform with my face obscured.
I work with ordinary, locally sourced objects. I like objects that give and resist, that can be changed and seem to reshape the body. Some examples are bubble wrap and mop buckets. My performance score punctuates slow meditative movement with object-movement sculptures. Unabashedly, I show off the musculature and exertion of the body, as a celebration of my gender. The themes of the body's strength and resilience in my work are not accidental; I am proud that muscles, cuts, and sun tans are as far from the traditional ideal of feminine beauty in my native culture as one can go.
Tina Wang's status as an Asian-Latina immigrant who came to study and work in the United States has strongly influenced her art. Her body contains vivid memories of the physical sensations of isolation, struggle, distraction, communion, and courage. Her experiences have inspired work that captures the humor and resilience of cutting through rigid expectations.
She began her dance training under Sonia Franco de Batres of San Salvador, El Salvador as a late beginner ballet student. While attending Washington University in St. Louis, she further trained in ballet, Horton, and jazz technique, gaining performance experience under The Slaughter Project by Cecil Slaughter. And then she persued training at Peridance Capezio Center’s 2-Year Certificate Program with the guidance of Liza Kovacs and Marlena Wolfe. When at American Dance Festival, she studied under Ming Lung Yang, Elizabeth Corbett, and Mark Dendy.
After intensive studies in ballet, Horton, Graham, and Limon, she worked with choreographers and directors in devised dance and theater works, including The Next Stage Project, Francesca Harper, Maija Garcia, Tatiana Pandiani, Mark Dendy, Melissa van Wijk, among others. Her training in Iyengar yoga and functional strength training (Strongman) have also influenced her movement ideas and forms.
Work with Ariel Asch has inspired her to place contemporary dance outside of traditional proscenium stage venues. Her experience working with Tamar Ettun and her Moving Company shifted the framework she thought about the potential of dance movement in collaboration with other mediums of art to focus on sharing the more poignant everyday experiences with audiences. Since then, she has pursued performance work with artists within the intersection of experimental dance and moving installations. Her work with Tingying Ma pushed her to consider the possibility of researching the expressive and communicative capabilities of a singular moving body.
She also acknowledges Francesca Harper and Maija Garcia for their artist support in her interest in the intensity of minimal but intensely still moments in dance, the seed that is fully explored and her performance art work today.