Lani Asuncion was born among the giant Redwoods of Northern Bay California. She was raised in the Ryukyu Islands on Okinawa, through the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee, and then drifts back to the clear waters of Oahu, Hawai’i. She currently roams the misty shores of New England in New Haven, CT where she has a working studio at Erector Square in Fair Haven.
Lani Asuncion has screened her video work in New Media Festivals with Currents in Santa Fe, NM; Moving Image at Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Another Athens Film Programme with SNEHTA in Athens, Greece that was also shown at SUPERMARKET Independent Art Fair in Stockholm, Sweden with Interviewroom11 booth from Edinburgh, Scotland. Her work has been included in Aspect EZ: Vol. 4, Déjà Vu a limited edition DVD printing by ASPECT: The Chronicle for New Media in Boston, MA. She is an artists-in-residence alumna of Caldera Arts Center, Elsewhere Living Museum, Santa Fe Art Institute, and Bilpin International Grounds for Creative Initiatives in New South Wales, Australia. In 2016 she was a recipient of the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund travel grant from the American Australian Association; Assets for Artists [A4A] matched savings grant from MassMoCA.
Asuncion earned her MFA in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in video and sculpture from the University of Connecticut in 2011. She teaches as an adjunct professor in video and digital media at Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at Bridgeport University, in additional to working at Artspace in New Haven.
I am a multimedia artist focusing on video, sculpture, storytelling, and installation working within communities and drawing from the history of a place and local traditions. I recall personal stories that are transformed into abstract narratives used to explore my identity as a multicultural, biracial Asian American woman, continually discovering the negotiation of belonging. The use of distance within my work explores experiences of assimilation. By slowing down, reversing, and manipulating time I attempt to make viewers aware of their distance from my work; creating a tension they can both see and feel. This distance is both actual and psychological from the viewer to the subjects in the videos, and the artwork to space they are placed within. Each visual and conceptual layer creates another aspect of the story I am telling within my work. Within my work I utilize abstract oral stories in a way that uses digital media as a tool embedding layers of text and abstract contextual imagery connecting bodies of work. The use of multimedia is my language expressing how I visualizes these stories in the everyday. How the mundane can be made mythical, encouraging play and embracing Otherness. I create wearable sculptural pieces called video relics, activated by constructed ritual based actions that reflect aspects of performance that become artifacts of a moment. The actions create happenings that are then recorded. Each piece is a complex multi-layer mix of a place, memory, and conjuring of a constructed past.