Astria Suparak is an artist, writer, and curator based in Oakland. Her practice is based in archival research and makes evident the connecting geographies, ideologies, histories and possible futures of our current conditions. Over the last year, Suparak’s installations, videos, multimedia presentations, and murals have been presented at institutions including MoMA, The Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, The Walker Art Center, and The Wattis Institute.
Suparak’s cross-disciplinary projects address complex and urgent issues (like institutionalized racism, feminisms and gender, colonialism) made accessible through a popular culture lens, such as Hollywood movies, rock music, and sports. Straddling creative and scholarly work, her projects often take the form of publicly available tools and databases (like maps, dictionaries, censuses), chronicling subcultures and omitted perspectives. Examining over half a century of American science fiction cinema through the lens of Asian appropriation and whitewashing, her current series draws from the histories of art, architecture, design, fashion, film, food, and martial arts to elucidate connections across time, highlight the absurdity of racist tropes, and show how deeply ingrained they are in our visual culture.
“Astria Suparak’s research-based multi-media practice exposes society’s latent biases, repeated stereotypes, and caustic prejudices with a refined logic that leverages our popular culture media landscape into an urgent questioning of the status quo,” remarked juror Joseph Becker.