“Ask a Nepali” /Ambassador

Photo by Irwin Simpelo

“Ask a Nepali” /Ambassador, 2016

Describing Nepal often is reduced to confronting common tropes—the exotic unplaceable, the adventurous climber, the spiritual seeker, the hippie trail, the poverty porn—without room for nuance or alternative narratives which center Nepalese perspectives. Even academic texts understand Nepal through ethnographic terms that turn Nepalese people into learning opportunities, as opposed to humans with agency.

Hyphen-Americans face the experience of becoming ambassadors for the other as soon as they can utter words. With that comes the tremendous power to craft and construct “the other” however they choose fit. This performance piece calls attention to the novelty of the hyphen experience by inviting the audience into an intimate encounter with the performer. As “the Nepali”, the performer invites the guest for biscuits tea and conversation of the audience member’s choice.



2016          Appendix, Pacific Heritage Museum, San Francisco, CA


2016          Appendix, Pacific Heritage Museum, San Francisco, CA