changeling tree: the forest lies about you
The work of iona rozeal brown examines the fluidity of identity and history through strange, sometimes erotic imagery that accentuates cultural exchange and relationships between Asia and the United States. One of her primary subjects has been the phenomenon of ganguro—translated literally as “black face”—in which Japanese youth appropriate African-American hip-hop style through darkened skin and braided, cornrowed hair. brown’s paintings and performances engage this hybrid identity, fusing traditional and contemporary references and influences seamlessly into dynamic works of art.
changeling tree: the forest lies about you is a continuation of brown’s ever-evolving narrative and a direct nod to Japanese Noh theater; which is by tradition tied to nature. As a finale to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a choreographed procession of two of brown’s mythic characters, embodied by dancers Monstah Black and Beasty, will take place just before dusk along the Tidal basin. It is amongst the blossoms, where the heroic myth will come to a ceremonial close in Washington.