“Cocoon” is a 45-minute ceremony performed by Jas Lin and Kyoko Takenaka underneath Ahn Lee’s sculpture of the same title. Exploring grief through the container of a cocoon, the performers embody ancestry and progeny, railroad worker and Chop Suey circuit nightclub dancer, silkworm and moth, light and shadow, as they move through non-linear cycles of metamorphosis between the simultaneous truths of trauma, pain, freedom, and joy in their lineage.
Notes on performing during the COVID-19 pandemic
“Cocoon” was performed at the first in-person opening of SOMArts Cultural Center since the pandemic began. The gallery relayed certain asks of this performance during its development that became integral to the performance itself.
1. “Masks must be worn by everyone inside at all times regardless of vaccination status.”
2. “What we want to avoid is a big crowd trying to gather to see the performance.”
We thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated working with the gallery and all their hard work, including negotiation, in order to ensure the performance was able to happen. Our gratitude goes out to the SOMArts team, especially Carolina Quintanilla.
Jas Lin + Kyoko Takenaka are non-binary polydisciplinary performance artists who share a tender friendship and synergetic artistic practices incorporating butoh, healing modalities, and experimental filmmaking. Together, they have presented live performances, films, and workshops at spaces such as ArtShareLA (cavern [穴 ]), Highways Performance Space (Asian America: The Future Is Now), and QnA LA (Body Is Our Birthright). Play is a central element in their creative process, interwoven with themes of ritual, growth, impermanence, and the in-between.
Ahn Lee is a nonbinary, queer, Cantonese artist and researcher. Their interdisciplinary practice of ceramics, media and performance relies on a combined methodology of autobiographical re-making and research on the Cantonese diaspora. As a person of
Sunwui (Xinhui) descent, Ahn explores their ancestral roots to this contested site of capitalism and imperialism through leveraging archival research, historiography,
critical race and gender theory. Ahn is currently a graduate student in the Art Practice Department at UC Berkeley and will receive their MFA in June 2022. Ahn Lee is this year’s San Francisco Foundation Jack K. and Gertrude Murphy Award Recipient.