Me Love You Long Time


Me Love You Long Time
Mills Gallery
Boston Center for the Arts
On view February 15, 2013 through April 7, 2013
Reception: Friday, February 15, 6:00-9:00pm
Guided tour with artists present 7:30pm

Boston, Massachusetts—The Boston Center for the Arts is pleased to present a provocative new exhibition, Me Love You Long Time (MLYLT).

MLYLT is a group exhibition of contemporary art and video by over 51 artists from Southeast Asia and North America who use various media and complicated visual strategies to upend or explore gender expression, sexuality, sex work, and new subjectivities.

For more than a year, Ramoran traveled Southeast Asia and the U.S., visiting nightclub dwellers, studios, galleries, and sex workers in search of artists for MLYLT. Modern life at the intersections of war, sex, gender, film, popular music, and contemporary art has provided the generative sources for MLYLT.

The title Me Love You Long Time is borrowed from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” (1987), which is set during the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War. In that film a prostitute solicits two U.S. soldiers with the words, “Me love you long time.” Later, the popular hip-hop song “Me So Horny” (1989) by the music group 2 Live Crew samples the same words. Insinuatingly professional, yet beguilingly innocent, those words, “me love you long time”, have become a familiar pop-cultural trope. Recently, hip-hop artist M.I.A., in her overtly political album Arular, conflates the lines of the hooker and the soldiers for the song, “10 Dollar”: “What can I get for 10 dollar? Anything you want.” By doing this, M.I.A. embodies the colonial, sexual economy and gendered relationship–re-politicizing the lyrics into the confident voice of a young girl, and possibly a transgendered girl, in the sex trade.

“This exhibition is all about the construction of identity and unapologetic attitudes about sexuality,” Ramoran explains, “and features art, videos, resources, and ephemera from the 1990s to the present that dive into really tough issues.”

Some artists in this exhibition include mixed-media artist Chath Piersath, who was born in Banteay Meanchey province, Cambodia, in 1970, and now lives in Bolton, MA; Hima B., a sex worker and filmmaker whose work is about the exploitation of sex workers; Mariko Passion, a self-proclaimed urban geisha, sex worker and performance-based, interdisciplinary conceptual artist whose work is about being a sexualized being as well an Asian; and Nodeth Vang, an under-recognized portrait photographer of Hmong decent, but born in Bordeaux, France. The newest additions to this group exhibition are works by New York-based artists Matthew de Leon, Cory Koons, Chang-Jin Lee, ParadoxVestedRelics, and Stephanie Powell.

Featured Artists:
Bobby Abate, Reza “Asung” Afisina, Pulang Alakdan, Hima B., Yason Banal, Anjali Bhargava, Isauro Cairo, Lynne Chan, Chath Piersath, Vanna Chin, Cecile Chong, Young Chung, Jon Cuyson, Matthew de Leon, Cirilo Domine, Oasa DuVerney, Permi K. Gill, Vicente Golveo, Akintola Hanif, Skowmon Hastanan, Swati Khurana, Andrew H. Kim, Cory Koons, Naruki Kukita, Viet Le, Chang-Jin Lee, Lim Sokchanlina, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., Yeni Mao, Zavé Martohardjono, Tala Oliver Mateo, Rafael T. Melendez, Gabby Quynh-Anh Miller, Ivan Monforte, Teresa Nasty, Nguyen Phuong Linh, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Sokuntevy Oeur, ParadoxVestedRelics, Mariko Passion, Tomiko Pilson, Johanna Poethig, Stephanie Powell, Clifford Landon Pun, Vanessa T. Ramalho, Rico J. Reyes, Larilyn Sanchez, SLAAAP! (Sexually Liberated Arts Activist Asian People!), Nodeth Vang, Nathan Lam Vuong, and Maria Yoon

Curated by Edwin Ramoran
Organized by Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art
This exhibition received support from the Lambent Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Associated Public Programming:

Friday, February 15, 2013
Public Reception

Guided tour with artists present:
Chath Piersath, Vanna Chin, Cirilo Domine, Vicente Golveo, Skowmon Hastanan, Naruki Kukita, Viet Le, Yeni Mao, Zavé Martohardjono, ParadoxVestedRelics, Tomiko Pilson, Clifford Landon Pun, Rico J. Reyes, among others

Friday, March 1, 2013
Video Screening featuring Absorption and other videos by Larilyn Sanchez
Artist Talk to follow

Friday, March 15, 2013
Video Screening featuring Out There and other videos by Matthew de Leon
Artist Talk to follow

Saturday, March 30, 2013
Anyt’ing We Want
Video Screening from the exhibition Me Love You Long Time
Featuring works by Lynne Chan, Cory Koons, Zavé Martohardjono, Nguyen Tan Hoang, and Larilyn Sanchez and
Curator talk with Edwin Ramoran

Image credit:
Skowmon Hastanan
Dakini/Rose, 2010
Graphite, acrylic on Saint Armand Innes paper, framed, 27" x 21 ½”
Photography: Stefan Hagen


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