The great irony is that I didn’t even wear a mask the first few weeks I sewed them, because I felt that the mask I always wear on my face was already a sign to the world: “I am a foreigner. I am an immigrant. I brought the virus here. Come and get me. ”With this show, I wanted to find a way to tell the story that is more than just being beaten, beaten, beaten, but also about how we survived.
Were you worried that people wouldn’t want to relive the pandemic?
We need to figure out how to visibly see Asian Americans and their culture. During the pandemic, I saw Asian American women not as silent and enslaved virus couriers, but as warriors behind sewing machines doing the work of protecting Americans. If there is ever a museum at this point in history, please leave just a little footnote there that reminds us of our work. And I’ve learned that, especially as a color artist, I can’t wait for someone else to write this footnote, so this show is really me screaming at people how to respect our work.
As recently as 2015, your mother was still sending you newspaper articles with an average salary for careers like doctors and government officials to try to dissuade you from pursuing a career in the performing arts. Is she more united now?
My mom called me when I started this and said, “You have to stop making these masks; stay inside! ”I got really mad at her, but she completely surprised me – she said,“ OK, send me some fabric, give me the patterns. ”Then she went. recruited all of her friends and really got into it. I think she feels really proud.
Is she coming to see the show?
She was really scared to come to New York because of the hate crimes and the Delta variant, but she and my dad come to see the show. I’m really happy that she can see it, and I think she’ll be surprised because she doesn’t know how deep into it she is. My shows have been my way of having honest conversations with my parents from a distance – they learn more about me by watching my shows than we do sitting at the dining room table, where I lie to them most of the time and hide Things. And I think they know it!
What part of the show is just you, Kristina Wong, on that stage, and how well do you play a character?
This is my big dilemma! I play a character named Kristina Wong who is mostly me, but very dramatized. Did I really crawl on my stomach to get to the post office? No, but it often looked like life or death.