Vincent Chong AKA Crystal Monkey

The Birth of Crystal Monkey // 猴貴妃, 登大雅之堂
Pronouns: they / them
Artistic Discipline: Dance
Category: Creative Equations Fund: Cultural Heritage & Diversity
Grant Year: 2024
Location: Sunset Park

The Birth of Crystal Monkey // 猴貴妃, 登大雅之堂 is a live performance combining traditional live large-scale Chinese calligraphy demonstration with contemporary Queer and drag performance. It is a story of personal growth and Queer self-realization which traces the evolution of my identity as a Queer gender non-comforming Chinese American artist. In the philosophy of calligraphy, an artist’s spiritual energy (氣) is channeled through their body and brush to manifest their essence in brushstrokes. In this way, an artist’s calligraphy expresses an irreducible quality of their identity. In Brooklyn, my Queer and Trans chosen families have taught me to express my identity through the way I present, dress, and perform—which changes daily. I combine these artistic lineages, writing giant calligraphy in glamorous slutty outfits and platform stilettos to express the multi-faceted nature of Queer identity as at once irreducibly essential and constantly in flux. The work refuses to see progress as the simple inclusion of Queerness within historically exclusionary forms of art. Instead, I aim to create a restorative moment which centers Queer and Trans experience, community, and resilience within the history and contemporary practice of art.