Annotated Photography, Digital, 2020
j.p.mot is a Khmer-Canadian conceptual artist born in Montreal currently living between Brooklyn and Montreal. He completed a BFA in Visual and New Media Art (2009) and an MA in International Development in (2012), at the University of Quebec in Montreal, and received an MFA in Visual Art at Columbia University in New York (2015). He took part in performance art festivals such as the Raflost Reykjavik Electronic festival and the Montreal’s Viva Art Action!; His installations has been part of numerous group shows in Canada, US, Mexico, Iceland, China and Thailand including Art Mûr, Montreal, Verticale, Laval, Espace F, Matane, Praxis, St-Hyacinthe, the Judith Charles Gallery, New York City, Fisher Landau Centre for the Arts, Long Island City, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore. His artist residencies include Gamli Scóli in Iceland, SOMA in Mexico, Tropical Lab in Singapore, NARS Foundation in Brooklyn, MASS MOCA in North Adam, Red Gate in Beijing, and Wassaic Project in New York.
He has been supported by the Quebec art and Letter Council (2011, 2012, 2013) and the Canada Art Council (2018); He was a recipient of the Columbia Morty Frank traveling fellowship (2015) and the NARS Foundation fellowship (2018); He has been featured in ESSE Arts, the Reykjavik Grapevine, the Singapore Strait Times. Currently, he is part of a year-long project titled “Leadership Camp” (2019 - 2020) with the Asia Art Archive in America and has been selected to take part in the NYFA (New York Foundation for the Art) Mentorship program (2020).
Through annotations this Instagrammable work through personal archive poke light jabs on the subject of Asians being seen as a foil to privilege and a scapegoat for identity politics: somewhat of a buffer to gatekeep class/race disparity and an “acceptable” output for triggered anger toward the perfect subaltern. As we are humble and nice we nod and smile...
There’s always the component of the lived experience vs the myth of meritocracy. In which there’s constant validation of this idea of the subaltern in the rhizome of society. Who, if they (the subaltern) work hard enough and are being an outstanding productive member of their society, can rise above their station. Without discounting anyone's lived experience or qualitative information at hand... the problem is that it (the notion of meritocracy) is still deeply embedded in the notion of shame in line with normalizing instances of micro-aggressions toward minorities. How great do you have to become in this equation of inequity to have the same worth as the privilege to receive basic reciprocity? The myth of meritocracy extends and maintains itself through niceness and humbleness which both participate in conserving a sense of stagnation and status quo in racial disparities due to systemic and institutionalized bias.
Diane Wong, Elizabeth Davis, Tamara Harkness, Chaeyeon Park, Sarah Piché.