This collaborative performance by Cathy Hsiao and Lakshmi Ramgopal is based on their collective interest in re-figuring the cultural archive. Incorporating the song of a Tamil lullaby passed down through generations and a mother’s Buddhist prayer necklace transformed into a sound sculpture, this ritual performance cites the artists’ personal pasts and the larger historical-cultural contexts that shaped their familial trajectories. Using memory and history, Hsiao and Ramgopal fluidly access tradition as a narrative and formal device for this sound-based performance.
Cathy Hsiao is an artist working in Chicago. She comes from a background in craft, raised by a devout Falun Dafa Buddhist mother. She holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley and a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artists Coalition and was a New Artist Society Fellow at the School of the Art Institute. Hsiao has participated in solo and two person exhibitions at Chicago Artists Coalition, McLean County Arts Center, Apparatus Projects, Goldfinch Gallery, Roots & Culture, and Comfort Station.
Lakshmi Ramgopal is an artist, writer, and historian based in New York and Chicago. Trained in Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam dance since childhood, Ramgopal experiments with both using improvisation and contemporary pop traditions. The result is an increasingly heterogeneous body of work that includes multidisciplinary ensemble performances, sound installations, and her musical project Lykanthea, whose debut EP Migration won praise from Noisey, Chicago Tribune, and Public Radio International’s The World. As of July 2019, Ramgopal will be Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University.
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