C. Tai Tai is an immigrant artist based in Chicago, with roots in other parts of the US (New York, California), Taiwan, and Latin America. Historically, she performed under the name, Tina Wang.
Negotiating a freedom in self expression with the fragility of conformity and belonging (to society) are key themes in her work. By inconveniencing the resistant body with burdensome organic and inorganic objects, she challenges assumptions about where these objects belong, who belongs with them, and their relationship to living bodies.
Tai Tai obtained her BA in dance and psychology at Washington University, and Certificate in contemporary dance performance at the Peridance Capezio Center. She has furthered her movement training with other dance (American Dance Festival), yoga asana (Iyengar), and fitness (Strongman) modalities. She is currently in the MFA program for Visual Arts at the University of Chicago.
Her work has been supported by EMERGENYC, Creative Capital's taller para artistas profesionales, The Sable Project, and the NYFA Immigrant Artist Program. Her work has been hosted by Judson Church, New York Live Arts, Governor's Island, The Exponential Festival, FiveMyles, Chashasma, Dixon Place, the Immigrant Artist Biennial fundraiser, Nimbus Dance, and Chinatown Soup to name a few. Grants from Dance/NYC, California Arts Council, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, University of Chicago's graduate council and Arts and Science + Culture Initiative have also helped with her art making.
I grew up in Taiwan, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and El Salvador. I came to the US when I was 18. Since then I have lived in St. Louis, New York, Oakland, and Chicago. Historically, I performed under the name, Tina Wang. As a dancer, my goals were to entertain and mold myself to the standards of virtuosic movements. Today, as C. Tai Tai, I would like my sculptures and performances to be a source of curiosity, catharsis, and contemplation.
Negotiating a freedom in self expression with a comfort and fragility of belonging are key themes in my work. By inconveniencing the resistant body with burdensome organic and inorganic objects, I challenge assumptions about where these objects belong, who belongs with them, and their relationship to living bodies. Feeling "at home" has been a core topic since I began working in the arts in 2010. I began as a dancer experimenting with what movements could communicate a gamut of experiences of being human, from defeat to resilience. I continued my research as a performance artist, testing which visual scenes of found materials activated by body movements shows how a singular body manages culturally imposed norms. And now as a sculptor, I ask how the residues left by the tragic body in performance become reassembled and distilled into an object that critiques the way societal norms confines and distracts an individual's journey to self actualization.
Involving objects is a way for me to bring to nuance the varying qualities of connection between people and the things around them. My work uses densely textured objects to ask questions about the unity of the human body and the life of still objects. I investigate how the body can be “discomposed” into object parts and how objects can be fashioned to a person so that the objects appear to have life. How does the stuff we use become part of us? How do we become mere stuff? I question whether creating a meditative atmosphere in performance involving abstract human body movement and objects that hold context of their own in society can be a way to open the imagination of the viewer in how they engage with other objects and people around them.
With my travels and a decade of work across the gig economy (service, dance, translation, yoga), my body holds vivid traces of the isolation, loneliness, and pressure to conform I felt throughout the many transitions. Those memories have inspired me to make work rooted in the humor and resilience I needed to cope with varying and rigid norms. I consider how catharsis is a tool of community building-- how absurdist images and senseless labor can shed one's guard and open one up to others for dialogue.
Making performances is also a process for me to create materials that get brought back to the studio to get transformed into sculptures. These sculptures then try to evoke the original emotional arc of the past performances in an installation. The installation becomes a space for new performances to happen. This cyclical nature of art making is a reflection of the negotiation of individuals' fit to society.
Tina Wang began her dance training under Sonia Franco de Batres of San Salvador, El Salvador as a late beginner ballet student. While attending Washington University in St. Louis, she further trained in ballet, Horton, and jazz technique, gaining performance experience under The Slaughter Project by Cecil Slaughter. And then she persued further dance training at Peridance Capezio Center’s 2-Year Certificate Program with the guidance of Liza Kovacs and Marlena Wolfe. When at American Dance Festival, she studied under Ming Lung Yang, Elizabeth Corbett, and Mark Dendy.
After intensive studies in ballet, Horton, Graham, and Limon, she worked with choreographers and directors in devised dance and theater works, including The Next Stage Project, Francesca Harper, Maija Garcia, Tatiana Pandiani, Mark Dendy, Melissa van Wijk, among others. She has performed in collaboration with other artists at the Park Avenue Armory, Pioneer Works, Brooklyn Museum, Eighth Floor, and The Watermill Center, to name a few.
Her training in Iyengar yoga and functional strength training (Strongman) have also influenced her movement ideas and forms. Iyengar yoga is very sculptural; its practice of stillness with the use of external objects of support allows research into body movement qualities. That is then translated into material qualities when creating objects that can be worked with in a new performance.
Other artistic influences:
Work with Ariel Asch has inspired her to place contemporary dance outside of traditional proscenium stage venues. Her experience working with Tamar Ettun and her Moving Company shifted the framework she thought about the potential of dance movement in collaboration with other mediums of art to focus on sharing the more poignant everyday experiences with audiences. Since then, she has pursued performance work with artists within the intersection of experimental dance and moving installations. Her work with Future Host's Tingying Ma pushed her to consider the possibility of researching the expressive and communicative capabilities of a silent and singular moving body in public spaces.
She also thanks Francesca Harper, Marlena Wolfe, and Maija Garcia for planting the seed of minimal but intensely still moments in dance performance, a seed that is fully explored and her performance art work today.
C. Tai Tai es una artista inmigrante con raices en Chicago y otras partes de los Estados Unidos (Nueva York, California), Taiwán, y América Latina. Historicamente, ella ha usado el nombre Tina Wang en obras de danza
Negociando las libertades de expresión individuo con la fragilidad de conformidad y pertenecia (a la sociedad) son temas claves en sus obras. Al hacer el cuerpo resistente inconveniente con objetos orgánicos e inorgánicos, ella desafía suposiciones de adónde pertenece los objetos, quién pertenece con ellos, y sus relaciones con cuerpos vivos.
Tai Tai obtuvo su licenciatura en danza y psicología, y certificado de performance de danza contemporánea en el Centro de Peridance Capezio. Ella ha continuado su entrenamiento del cuerpo con otras técnicas de danza (Festival de American Dance), asana de yoga (Iyengar) y condición física (Strongman). Actualmente, ella esta estudiando en el programa de maestría de artes plásticas en la Universidad de Chicago.
Con el apoyo de residencias en Sable Art Projects (Vermont), programa de becas en EMERGENYC, en tutoría como artista inmigrante en el New York Foundation for the Arts (IAP), becas de Foundation for Contemporary Arts, California Arts Council, UChicago Arts y UChicago Graduate Council, su trabajo ha sido presentado en varios teatros, galerías, exhibiciones y eventos en Nueva York (Judson Church, New York Live Arts, FiveMyles, Governors Island), Oakland (, y Chicago (Logan Center).
絲汀太太 是一位表演藝術家。她以移民家的身份位於芝加哥。他也成經住過紐約和加州，以及拉丁美洲各國。你有可能聽到她以 Tina Wang 的名稱創造舞作品。
她的作品主打衡量自我表達的自由以及 (對社會) 歸屬和從眾的脆弱性。她在作品裡，發起「人」與「物」在社會相處時，誰屬於誰的疑問和啟發。