Paria’s Pearl

I don’t know where my family was from. I couldn’t locate myself in China, even when I visited Shanghai with a friend in 2018. Paria’s Pearl was/is my search for the body’s of water routes; from a small village on the banks of the Pearl River, merging with the Atlantic, through the Dragon’s Mouth spilling into the Gulf of Paria. These bodies of water hold memories that flood the streets of Port of Spain and perhaps that’s why the Dragon couldn’t dance or look at its own reflection. When I looked down at the cloudy waters, I saw my shadowy reflection. When the water was clear, there was only my shadow cast onto the seabed which nested a pearlescent glint. A promise of wealth that the dragon dove into the ocean for and when it came up for air — it was a shop on Charlotte Street. Paria’s Pearl is a fabulation of an alienated Chinese identity and it transforms through make-up, fashion, music, dance and performance into being, via Dragon mas. Witness the creation of my Trini-Chinese identity.

Film Stills

Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Paria’s Pearl’. Image Caption: Featured image for ‘Paria’s Pearl’.


Paria’s Pearl (2022)


Trinidad and Tobago


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Suelyn Choo

Suelyn Choo

Suelyn Choo

Suelyn Choo is an emerging, multifaceted Trinidadian artist and organizer. She explores self-presentation and cultural identity. Particularly, the presentation and perception of the self in private and public spaces through work which includes self-taught painting, photography, makeup, fashion, dance, performance and film. Where the suspension within this moment of dressing and undressing can be a liminal space where the truth of human behaviour is revealed. In 2020, she showcased figure drawings in a group show at Alice Yard. In 2021, she exhibited paintings in a group show Relative and collaborated on a performance piece instigated by noted artist Chris Cozier, that was shown at the IDB Healing a Broken World virtual summit. Her performance piece, Paria’s Pearl, which explores her relationship with her Chinese family’s migration and assimilation was performed and screened at documenta fifteen, facilitated by Alice Yard. She was selected to be a part of the NLS 2023 group residency.

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