Photo by Daisy Wu
On a red background, a figure with a foxhead crouches on one knee, holding their long hair that is braided. The figure wears skeakers with long sochs and shorts with flowers on them. A potted plant is tied to their back with rope, and sweat drips down their body.
Artist(s): Makoto Chi

Heavy Night

Completed: 2021

Artist’s statement: “Heavy Night” is part of a loose, informal series of drawings sharing similar aesthetics themes — they are spaces where I reflect on sexuality, community, and different types of grief. In Japanese folklore, the fox, or Kitsune, is often a figure of trickery and transformation. I think of this often when I am thinking of drawing bodies, of the bodies I am in community with, and my own mixed-race, Japanese and Jewish selfhoods: that myself and many folks around me have genders, and are of racial categories not understood by the colonized west. Many of us, too, shapeshift between spaces to eek out survival, or a comfortable life. The term “masking”, too, is used to describe the neurodivergent experience of putting up a facade for the comfort of others, and the safety of the self. Many of my figures wear masks much like the Kisune, and are intentionally made with ambiguity in mind: I think of them as shapeshifters stuck between forms. With “Heavy Night”, I am thinking of these masks, and I am thinking of burdens, too, of the literal literal heaviness of being alive as a trans person, and of a more light but pervasive sexual frustration of being tethered to one form. The feeling I am thinking of when reflecting on this drawing, is of a sweaty evening, yearning for intimacy and being tied up in burdensome, probably oppressive contexts, unsure of what type of creature one must be to be OK. My hope is that this rings familiar to queer imaginations that encounter this image, to hold up little mirrors for folks to see themselves in, and with all of my work, to open doors for folks to think of their own relations, and narratives, of sexuality, power, and their place in whatever part of the land they are on.”

Sponsored by: Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, Synonym Art Consultation, Graffiti Art Programming, Signex and Manufacturing Inc. and Wall-to-Wall Mural & Culture Festival

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Where to Find This Mural

Location: 390 York Ave Winnipeg MB R3C 0P3 Get Directions