as if our hands could hold the weight of promise

There dancers draped in colorful silks pose on the floor in front of an open elevator with a beaded curtain.
as if our hands could hold the weight of promise, Tang Teaching Museum, April 17, 2024, photo by Megan Mumford

Join us Wednesday, April 17, at 5 pm, for a performance by Elevator Music 48: Alone, only in flesh artists MIZU, Theresa-Xuan Bui, and Antonius-Tín Bui, and dancer Glenna Yu. The artists will activate the Tang’s elevator and staircase with cello, improvisational movement, spoken word poetry, and audience interaction with traditional Vietnamese garments (áo dài). In this way, the audience will join the diasporic artists on a migration embodying the hesitations, expectations, and contemplations of returning home.

About the Artists

Antonius-Tín Bui (they/them) is a polydisciplinary artist and shapeshifter invested in the transformative potential of improvisation, portraiture, craft, and ritual. They are the child of Paul and Van Bui, two Vietnamese refugees who sacrificed everything to provide a future for their four children and extended family. Born and raised in the Bronx, Bui eventually moved to Houston before pursuing a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MIC/A). Bui has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Kala Art Institute, Tulsa Artists Fellowship, Halcyon Arts Lab, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Yaddo, Anderson Center at Tower View, The Growlery, Jentel, and Fine Arts Work Center.

Theresa-Xuan Bui (they/them) is a queer, non-binary Vietnamese American artist questioning the intersections of the personal and political as a means for critically imagining the future. Through drawing and dancing, they translate their embodied practice into a performance of language and sound. The work does not seek to answer or proclaim, but rather openly and recklessly process the self within larger power structures. They are descended from Vietnamese refugees and are inspired to continue the legacies of vanguard Asian Americans. Born and raised in the Bronx, they moved to Houston before pursuing a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MIC/A).

MIZU (she/her) is a Juilliard-trained experimental cellist exploring themes of transformation and the infinite possibilities within queerness, as well as the boundaries between concert, theater, and performance art. She builds expansive soundscapes by melding cello with electronic manipulation and experimental production, included in her recently released album Forest Scenes and her debut album Distant Intervals (spring 2023). MIZU also collaborates across media with movement artists such as Lili (Luyan Li), Kennie Zhou, and Antonius-Tín Bui; directors like George Miller and Dan Silver; and designers including MEGHUN. She has performed extensively with guitarist and electronic producer Rachika Nayar, opened for Tim Hecker at Pioneer Works, collaborated with techno producer and flutist Concrete Husband, and was featured on the recent album Spike Field by singer-songwriter Maria BC. Her performances have taken her to Tokyo, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Washington DC, and soon to The Hague, Netherlands, for Rewire 2024.

Glenna Yu (she/her) is a movement artist based in Andes, New York, in the western Catskills. She has danced as a freelancer in New York City for many years and performs with H.T. Chen & Dancers, a contemporary dance company providing moving experiences in Asian-American history through performance and arts education; and with BIRDHOUSE, a collective under the direction of Raven White that breaks down performance from the format of audience watching “other” into simply humans being humans with each other. Beyond performing, Glenna strives to build a stronger and more vibrant dance community in the western Catskills through her work as a member of NYS DanceForce and as a dance teacher for children and teens. Finally, Glenna is the proud co-founder of Pillow Fort Arts Center, an interdisciplinary artist residency and community. She created Pillow Fort to be a resource for artists; to imagine alternative systems; and to provide a space for exploration, sensitivity, rest, and (re)creation.

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