Controlled Burn artist Oblivia Nukem Jun on breaking stereotypes in Asian representation and black metal.
Who are you?
I am a performer. A drag queen.
What motivates your work as an artist?
I like breaking stereotypes and challenging norms. And looking evil and beautiful while doing so.
What social issues are important to you and how do they inform the art you create?
The lack of non-stereotypical Asian representation. Even though my drag is inspired by heavy metal and fashion, a lot of my references are of Asian culture, whether it be 90’s wuxia movies or ghost stories that my parents told me from when they were growing up in Thailand and Laos.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your performances?
I’m a fan girl for black metal bands. I’m inspired by black metal’s stark imagery and aggressive attitude. I like to combine that with the over exaggerated fabulosity of drag queens and the dream-like delicacy of couture fashion.
Aside from your artistic work, how do you spend your time? What are some of your hobbies and passions in life?
I like to spend time at the gym. That’s how I like to relax. I’m also addicted to shopping. Nothing beats a post-workout shopping spree.
Lastly, describe your pre-performance ritual if you have one.
I always try to hit the gym first thing in the morning the day of a performance. When I beat my face, I like to take as much time as I want, usually with no clothes on and metal on my speakers.
Oblivia will be performing on Saturday, February 16 @ 7:30pm for Controlled Burn: Queer Performance for a World on Fire.