VBKÖ – Vereinigung bildender Künstlerinnen Österreichs


Who is Mai Ling?


827 March, 2021
March 8 and Thu / Fri / Sat 14:00-19:00 or by appointment
(please email to mai.ling@gmx.at)

Online Opening Talk with Stephanie Misa and Perrila Zine (Pete Prison IV & Weina Zhao):
8th March 2021, 20:00

Mai Ling is neat and silent.

Mai Ling is nice and friendly.

Mai Ling is exotic and charming.

Mai Ling is quiet and delicate.

Mai Ling is sober and obedient.

Mai Ling is a faithful domestic.

Mai Ling is a dragon lady.

Mai Ling is a tantalising temptress.

Mai Ling is a smailing ingenue.

Mai Ling is disappearing into an amnesic fog, and her voice has never been heard.

Mai Ling, a Vienna-based association and artist collective founded in 2019, contextualizes and fosters contemporary Asian art and discussion with a focus on FLINT*.Mai Ling’s artistic practice takes a stand against racism, sexism, homophobia and any kind of prejudice, offering a discursive platform to share and collect personal experiences and activate socio-political voices against the objectification and fetishization of the “Asian woman”.

The name “Mai Ling” refers to a fictional figure invented by Gerhard Polt, a famous German comedian, in 1979. In his video sketch, she embodies a submissive hybrid and fantasised stereotype of Asian women, who has been silenced and made invisible in the collective European imagination – she was bought in Bangkok, wears a kimono and cooks Chinese food. She does not speak for herself; instead, all information about her is given by Gerhard Polt, her Bavarian husband. Polt’s normalization of the Asian female objecthood back in 1979 does not lose its relevance, as the same stereotypes and clichés are still pervasive today in contemporary culture.

Mai Ling re-narrates and re-portrays the once silenced “Mai Ling” with collective voices and multi-layered identities, in an effort to finally reclaim her speech, thorough re-appropriation and re-construction of the perception and treatment of gendered and racialized bodies in Western society. The exhibition Who is Mai Ling? showcases the sheer diversity of the collective’s artistic and activist projects.

Online Opening / Mai Ling Speaks #6 on 8 March, 20:00-
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8th March, Mai Ling invites two guests from Vienna, Stephanie Misa and Perilla Zine (Pete Prison IV & Weina Zhao), as a part of the online series Mai Ling Speaks, connecting the active voices that are dealing with the anti-Asian ramifications of these exceptional times. The current pandemic has underscored not only anti-Asian racism but also emphasised systemic and institutional racism has managed to oppress people-of-colour successfully; the art world is not the exception to these conditions. With the guests, Mai Ling Speaks #6 connects and activate voices from Vienna while questioning multiracial whiteness, various forms of the diaspora, and experiences of discomfort.

The detail of the event:

*This event will happen via zoom. Please register here, and we will share a zoom link the day before. https://forms.gle/P9KMJdhCSXEhDtQk7



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