Frying krupuk (prawn crackers) Let’s Make Shrimp Chips SUPER CRUNCHY SHRIMP CHIPS Homemade

by Becca Wijshijer

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Artist Statement

Frying krupuk (prawn crackers) Let’s Make Shrimp Chips SUPER CRUNCHY SHRIMP CHIPS Homemade. Easy and very tasty! is a negotiation of queer Southeast Asian identity as a 2nd generation Canadian. Dispersed and existing in the periphery, members of both groups often find themselves looking outside of their immediate surroundings to gain a more solid grounding of selfhood. In our globalized post-internet age, digital media and imported consumer goods play a crucial role in this process. My video performance uses English-to English dubbing as a metaphor for the way personal significance is place on mundane objects and histories are fantasized out of necessity.

As I move my lips, a different voice emerges—a different accent, a different pitch—I absorb the language of strangers online. While appropriating and queering their content, my narration can only work with its limits. Hierarchies of power are further confused by the sampled vocals. As a half Western European, half Indonesian (Dutch through colonialism) performer, I assume the identity of other Asians with similar accents to mine, Asians with southern US accents, Asians with English accents, Asians with Asian accents, Caucasian people with North American accents, and Caucasian people with Dutch accents.

Similarly, my actual sense of my Asian identity is a kaleidoscope of physical difference, small trinkets from my childhood, absorbed Dutch traditions, Toronto Chinatown markets andrestaurants, dishes made by Asian friends, subtitled films, and information I’ve searched online.  My video attempts to question views on authenticity (Am I Asian enough? Am I queer enough?) and suggests that in the search for history, a history can be made. Perhaps authenticity has always been a bit shrimpy.

Artist Bio

Becca Wijshijer is a research-based artist living and working in Kitchener-Waterloo. Through new media, sculpture and installation they explore mediated intimacies and personas on digital platforms. Utilizing online trends and subcultures, they attempt to deconstruct thecomputerized body and relationships. Wijshijer received their BFA in Printmaking from OCADUniversity in 2017 and is an MFA Candidate at the University of Waterloo.

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Using Format