In 2019 the artist collective “Mai Ling” was founded in Vienna, they work with Asian art and culture with a focus on FLINT (female, lesbian, inter, non-binary and trans). The collective programmatically gives a critical voice to the character who has to deal with a slew of exoticisms, stereotypes, and misogynous assaults in Gerhard Polt’s eponymous show. How little a voice is heard, or even present, in the public eye that stands against anti-Asian stereotypes, became painfully clear in the form of the amount of racist attacks in connection to the Sars-CoV-2 Virus.
To be found on an interface between history, geography, gender, and ethnicity, the performative project “Mai Ling kocht” [engl. Mai Ling cooks] deals with the topic of Asian food culture while hiking. In a six-part series of participatory happenings, there is a lot in the air when it comes to practice of collective cooking: the exchange of recipes and resistant stories, the deconstruction of stereotypes, racist and sexist beliefs, as well as questions concerning migrant economies, cultural translations and hybridisations, or “western” portrayals of the Asian body. By opening up an extended field of artistic action in regards to a socio-political blindspot that is simultaneously highly relevant during this time, “Mai Ling” was able to convince the jury. (Jury statement)