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 as a fresh transplant to Boston, Massachusetts.
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] grant from MassMoCA.
Asuncion earned her MFA in Art with a concentration in video and sculpture from the University of Connecticut in 2011. She is a Media Arts Manager at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston.
Through video, sculpture, performance, and storytelling presented in multimedia installations I use cultural stereotypes to speak to assimilation, racism, and visualize what is not visible; the other. 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. I’m interested in how stories can be used to explore generations of change, loss, and transformation due to histories of colonization; and how this challenges indigenous and native people’s traditions and culture. The loss and gain of the advancement of capitalism influences my work, from the growing tourism in Hawai’i to the expansive military throughout Asia. Through each body of work, I use imagery that references a traditional story or history from my cultural background or ones that are closely associated with it. The abstract nature of the work speaks to the disconnect that comes from being an other in each community I am associate with, the distance from the character to the viewer also shows this disjointing nature of assimilation. With technology I am able to communicate through another language that transcends race and class enabling a complex multi-layer mix of a place, memory, and conjuring of a constructed past that I aim to re-tell in my own voice.