“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
Sara Balabanlilar & S Rodriguez
Homecoming Group Shot
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.