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Introducing, Sacred Wounds, a bold, vibrant, genre-bending, and unapologetically erotic virtual performance and fundraiser that puts Asian queer performers at the forefront to conjure a brighter future.

Curated and produced by acclaimed performance artist Kayla Tange AKA Coco Ono (she/her) and drag king icon, Wang Newton (she/they out of drag, he/him in drag), this monthly virtual experience subverts stereotypes, combats the notion of “model minority”, and fosters a safe healing space for both the performers AND the audience. No topic is off limits.

Check out their upcoming performance, HOTPOT in celebration of AAPI Heritage month and watch their IG, @sacred.wounds  for info about their big Pride event.

What is your vision for a brighter future? 

More of the best of our collective PRESENT selves, please!  Let us say that again — more of us, the best of us, and we already are amazing. The journey of the past two decades has led us here. Our individual lives prior to Sacred Wounds has already been a path of social justice and deep internal reconciliation. Our diverse audience stretches from Asia, The Americas, to Europe; the age ranges from 18 to 84. With each ticket purchase we donate to anti-oppression non-profits that in turn offer free services to our community. The feedback received and witnessing the afterparty convos from Day 1 show how the audience is willing to be vulnerable, self-reflective, and support each other.  Thus, we feel this vision is lit and offers a brighter future.

What can you tell us about the Hot Pot event for May? What does it mean personally to each of you? 

HotPot is going to be a joyful sexy celebration for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month featuring adult film actor Damian Dragon, burlesque legends Diamondback Annie and Flowerbomb. Food unites us all so we are brewing a show with all the yummy ingredients!

Kayla: HotPots represent community, warmth and comfort and soups in general have always been my go to dish of choice to cook. It’s so therapeutic to combine ingredients and experiment with flavors and for this HotPot, we really wanted to create that inviting feeling of sharing a pot of soup with friends. This month feels particularly special to celebrate Sacred Wounds as it’s Asian Heritage Month. There is no better way to counter injustice than to savor joy while creating new memories with our loved ones.

Dr. Wang: “Let’s not get it twisted, my entire career is about bad puns and great satire. Wang likes it hot and Wang likes it pot, baby. For me, I do love the jokes about ‘being invited to the BBQ’ and I feel the Asian diaspora can have the same fun. I can’t tell you how many times people say to me on the street ‘Konichiwa’ or ‘Ni Hao’ or worse. And to note– having an Asian ex-girlfriend does not get one an automatic invitation to the hotpot. I also don’t care how long you’ve trained in martial arts. Fight me — there’s a fierce door bitch at this party and their first rule is: If you are shabby shabby, you cannot shabu-shabu! [Japanese hotpot]

Having an Asian ex-girlfriend does not get one an automatic invitation to the hotpot.

Why is it important to be an unapologetically erotic show? 

We ask this: “What does it feel like to apologize for being your [naturally erotic] Self?”  

Being erotic is not flaunting…sexual energy is creative energy that lends to birthing ideas into reality. All too familiar, being apologetic translates to silence and shying away or internalized shame and guilt. And we are so over that! We no longer live in shame and self doubt. We command respect and justice. We make no apologies for our authentic selves.  

Sacred Wounds encompasses a range of performance styles from ritual, performance art, exotic dance, fetish, drag, and alchemy. Why is it important to highlight an inclusive range of performers and what do you feel unites them? 

In 2019, Kayla asked Wang to write the foreword to her printed book, Are We a Joke, a compilation of Asian burlesque performers around the world co-created with Jungmok Yi. After much consideration of what the burlesque dancers had in common, the same holds true for the collective of alternative/underground artists:

“Expression has been repressed for so long in our Asia motherland….taking off clothes in front of an audience would be way over-the-top, or looked down upon….For those Asians that have emigrated out into the world, we have thrived from exposure to other cultures and ways of living. We have been nourished and we have flourished and we have expanded our minds.  We have found our voice….Our body is now on our own terms…. Under every sexy attire is a [person] who has lived …a life of courage and audacity.”

What do you hope audiences take away from Sacred Wounds? 

Sacred Wounds explores traditions, history, and truths and how they can be transformed into visionary offerings.  We feel ancestral healing is possible through ritual and performance art and we cordially have an invitation to our audience. It is an invitation into a sacred space that is our world, and a kind request to participate with curiosity and compassion. Perhaps from a point of view that what they are witnessing has never been seen before — what is the culture of hyphenated and mixed Asian peoples? What if there was a matriarchy and leadership from the queer spectrum? 

Consider: this is curation of narratives as we tell it, where artists have a slight guidance of theme yet total freedom of self expression. We are bypassing censorship, mainstream media producers, casting agents, budgets and return-on-investment requirements. Finally, it is a co-creation with the audience themselves as we interact on the digital platform — and in this way, together we conjure an enchantingly brighter future. We hope the audience takes away from Sacred Wounds… more than what they put into it.