“The Texas tradition of homecoming mums, where high school students adorn themselves with large and elaborate floral pins, goes back over a century. The unique designs that are common today emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, part of the deep cultural attachment to football made famous by shows like Friday Night Lights. Antonius-Tin Bui connects these mums, highly styled and weighed down with objects that are meaningful to the wearer, to queer fashion, particularly the larger-than-life stylings of drag performers. Antonius uses the common association of mums as a part of a culturally conformist high school culture that prevails in Texas to pay homage to the untold stories of growing up queer in a deeply traditional society. By “queering” the traditional Texas mum, Antonius reimagines this object as an outlet for self-expression in an environment that can be difficult for youth who do not identify with traditional gender norms. “ -María-Elisa Heg, curatorial fellow at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Special thanks to Junior Fernandez for being a phenomenal photographer! Your vision of documenting these mums in 35mm point & flash style truly brought this project to life.
This project was in collaboration with DJ Domtop, Kumquat, Duke Diesel, S Rodriguez, and Sara Balabanlilar.
Materials: 1999 Britney Spears Doll, Penis water gun, Ball gag with leather collar, Félicette portraits, text by S Rodriguez, polyester/satin/acetate/nylon/metallic ribbon from Arne's, bell chimes, plastic garlands, glitter letters, feather boas
installation at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
HCCC is pleased to present Queer(ing) the Wheel, an original performance showcase organized by current resident artist Antonius-Tin Bui and interdisciplinary artist Tonya Huynh.
This site-specific performance pays homage to the late Playhouse Theater (housed in the building next door to HCCC), one of the largest theaters-in-the-round in the nation in the early 1950s. On February 21st, the 68th anniversary of the Playhouse’s opening night, Bui and Huynh will transform HCCC’s parking lot into a temporary space in which audience members and performers will interact through “vehicles-in-the-round,” arranged to explore the personal narratives of each artist.
For many queer artists, especially in Houston, the car is a living archive of existence, representing a place of safety and refuge, a place to change, to hook-up, to cruise, to transition, to escape, to curate experiences, and to be authentic. By creating a vehicular theater-in-the-round, Bui and Huynh invite the audience to engage in the experiences of seven artists, while referencing the intimate style of the pioneering Playhouse Theater, which successfully broke down barriers between actors and audiences.
The event falls on the opening night of Experimental Action (ExA), Houston’s biennial international performance art festival, in which Bui will also perform. Experimental Action is a three-day festival that facilitates and shines a spotlight on experimental performance, showcasing both local and international artists and exposing Houston audiences to innovative performance art. ExA will take place February 21-23.
Supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts!
Burning 100 Demons
Burning 100 Demons is a Lunar New Year ritual that celebrates our queer ancestors through spoken, written, and embodied poetry, planned in conjunction with Antonius Bui’s yêu em dài lâu (me love you long time) exhibit at Lawndale Art Center. Inspired by Lynda Barry’s One! Hundred! Demons!, we will be reflecting on our demons of 2018, the life moments that haunt you, form you, and stay with you. We invite the community to burn their demons and dream new intentions as a way to bring forth the Year of the Pig. Ching-In Chen and Antonius Bui, the co-organizers of the event, are honored to be collaborating with artists Koomah and Olaniyi Akindiya to create an intersectional space for healing and catharsis.
We kindly request that you bring a sacred object of your choice to place on or near the altar in the exhibit for the duration of the performance. Dinner will be provided the night of the event.
Burning 100 Demons was celebrated at Lawndale Art Center on February 1st. Thank you AKIRASH for allowing us to host the event amongst your solo show, Ara Oru Kinkin (Masquerades Mythology), in the John M. O'Quinn Gallery.
Queer(ing) the Canon is a series of free figure drawing sessions for the public to practice seeing, appreciating, interacting with, and drawing queer bodies. Hosted by the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, this series actively combats the hetero-patriarchal canon of art by centering the bodies and experiences of queer folx, as opposed to the bodies that have been historically valued (i.e, straight, white, male). Queer(ing) the Canon creates body-positive spaces, meaning we welcome models of all genders, body types, abilities, and racial/ethnic backgrounds.
Cost: In an effort to be inclusive as possible, the sessions will be completely free to the public.
Duration: Each drawing session will last 3 hours. You are free to come and leave at any time.
Model Compensation: Models will be paid $30/hr, minimum half hour slots. If you are a performer of any sorts (drag, burlesque, etc.) and come in your look, we are able to pay $40/hr to compensate for makeup and preparation time.
Materials: Please bring your own drawing materials and surfaces. Some free drawing materials will be provided on a first come first serve basis.
***Those who touch or photograph the models without prior permission will be asked to leave immediately.