Lani Asuncion headshot

Lani Asuncion

Lani Asuncion works in video, sculpture, performance, and digital storytelling that explores the sociopolitics of community. By using her body and the camera she is able to navigate landscapes and recall personal stories that are transformed into abstract narratives used to explore her identity as a multicultural, biracial Asian American woman, continually discovering the negotiation of belonging. She is interested in how stories can be used to explore generations of change, loss, and transformation. Through new media, Asuncion communicates with a digital language that transcends race and class enabling the creation of a new contextual mix of a place, memory, and conjuring of a reconstructed past.

BON Festival - people gathered along a narrow alleyway putting white paper bag lanterns on large black buckets filled with water

BON, 2017

BON is a project influenced by Asuncion’s experience of the three-day Obon Festivals they did with family in Okinawa, Japan honoring their ancestors and passed loved ones.

This public event invited people from the Asian Arts Initiative community in Philadelphia as part of AAI's Pearl Street Project public art residency. Over the three days leading up to the event Asuncion hosted lantern making workshops with AAI Youth Art Workshop groups and the local public. During the First Friday event, a community potluck was held, and people were encouraged to bring a favorite dish that reminded them of their passed loved one(s). Then there was a community release of lanterns into the constructed river made in the Pearl Street ally. There was a live performance of traditional taiko Japanese drumming by Therese Stephen of Philly based Kyo Daiko.