By Light Source
Welcome to the Light Source Night School Talks Program
We are pleased to present our sixth talk in our series, by Chao-Ying Rao- To Weaponise, to Fetishise.
Chao-Ying Rao (BETTY) is an East Asian multi-disciplinary artist. A 2020 Glasgow School of Art graduate with a BA(Hons) in Painting and Printmaking, Betty also holds an MA(Hons) in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. She lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.
will be speaking about her experience living and working as an East
Asian woman in the UK, and how she came to weaponise and manipulate
being fetishised as a form of survival. From her performance art, beauty
rituals, to sex work, she will discuss her art practice and her
background as a way of understanding the broader context around the
fetishisation of women of colour in both art and culture. Unpacking the
nuances around objectification - an often uncompromising word which
requires some deeper analysis, she will talk about transformation and
escapism through bodily rituals and performance work.
Betty's research interests tend to circulate around fringe and contentious topics as she seeks to analyse our habitual discomforts. She’s fascinated by their undertones, and finds them to speak volumes about our cultural anxieties and shared values. Her practice is also partly influenced by her experience in the sex industry where she spent a good decade of her life. Combining her lived experiences alongside questions of censorship, objectification and bodily autonomy, her performances are playful and often use humour as a form of social and cultural critique. As a left-over habit from sex work, Betty also goes by various different names, from Mina Karenina to Femme Castratrice.
Since graduation, Betty has completed the graduate residency at Hospitalfield in Arbroath. She’s the co-recipient of the Hope Scott Trust and the William Syson Foundation for the upcoming exhibition ‘Graduate Drive-Thru’. She campaigns with Scot-PEP for the full decriminalisation of sex work, and is a part of the United Sex Workers union.
Light Source is a program of talks exploring Witch Hunts and Ritual Performance hosted by artist Amy Kingsmill.
This is our sixth talk in a series of 12 monthly talks and workshops on these themes, please check back at our website as we announce our full list of speakers and dates.
Light Source brings light to lost histories of persecuted people- primarily women, and honours them. It explores and expands the use of body performance techniques and contextualises them within the practice of queer people and women, creating a space to share these techniques & histories.
This talk is at The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, London WC1N 1JD
This project is funded by the Arts Council England.