Submerged explores themes of identity, representation, race, and acceptance through the lens of female body as subject. The artists’ depictions of the yellow, brown, and black body, challenge stereotypes and assert agency and power.
Submerged presents two unique responses to the experience of being ‘othered’ as women of colour, and the importance of defining your own value. For Mimi Leung, this is about grappling with an internal struggle with her body, and her attempts to break free of expectations from self and society. Ree’s works on the other hand, look to external representations of the physical body to reconsider white beauty standards, by centering Afrocentric beauty and solidarity.
Submerged is one of several creative responses MAV has initiated during the COVID19 pandemic, providing artists with support and resources to develop their practice and to experiment with new modes of collaboration and delivery in a digital context. The project has included a mentoring collaboration with curator and arts writer Sophia Cai, to strengthen the artists’ skills in writing about their artistic practices from the context of their own lived experiences.
MAV CEO, Veronica Pardo says, “This project is part of MAV’s new strategy, which not only responds to the challenges of this COVID time in amplifying the voices of people of colour but also expands our understanding of diverse lived experiences as a way of grappling with contemporary perspectives on Victorian multiculturalism, which are at once rich, complex and indefinite.“