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Light Source presents Chao-Ying Rao: To Weaponise, to Fetishise at the Horse Hospital

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Time 19:00
Date 25/11/21
Price £10
  • Produced by The Light Source
  • Price £10 + £1 booking fee
  • Get ready for objectification as escapism through ritual and performance
  • Bring along a sense of autonomy
  • Surf to buy tickets
  • See you at Horse Hospital

East Asian multi-disciplinary artist Chao-Ying Rao's (aka Betty) talk explores racial fetishism and gender. Betty has a background in Painting, Printmaking, Philosophy and English Literature.

Talk: 19:00-21:00

Light Source are pleased to present the sixth talk in their Night School Talks series, ‘To Weaponise, to Fetishise’, delivered by Chao-Ying Rao.

Chao-Ying Rao (BETTY) is an East Asian multi-disciplinary artist. A 2020 Glasgow School of Art graduate with a BA(Hons) in Painting and Printmaking, Betty also holds an MA(Hons) in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. She lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland.

Betty will be speaking about her personal experiences growing up as an East Asian woman in Scotland, and how she learned to weaponise and manipulate being fetishised as a form of survival. She will briefly touch upon popular topics from the philosophy of feminism in relation to sex work, and will discuss her own experiences as a way of understanding the broader discussions and context around the fetishisation of women of colour in both art and culture. Unpacking the nuances around objectification - an often uncompromising word which requires some deeper analysis, she will talk about objectification as escapism through ritual and performance.

Betty’s research interests are often fringe as she believes what causes us discomfort speaks volumes about our culture and shared values. Her work asks challenging questions that prompt us to re-evaluate our intuitive reflexes in order to reach a nuanced and more compassionate understanding of each other and the world we live in. Her practice is also partly influenced by her experience in the sex industry where she spent a good decade of her life. It was through the magnetic and breath-taking dancers in the strip clubs that she learned how to move. Combining her lived experiences alongside questions of censorship and bodily autonomy, her performances are playful and often use humour as a form of social and cultural critique. As a left-over habit from sex work, Betty also goes by various different names, from Mina Karenina to Femme Castratrice.

Since graduation, Betty has completed the graduate residency at Hospitalfield in Arbroath. She’s the co-recipient of the Hope Scott Trust and the William Syson Foundation for the upcoming exhibition ‘Graduate Drive-Thru’. She campaigns with Scot-PEP for the full decriminalisation of sex work, and is a part of the United Sex Workers union.

Light Source is a program of talks exploring Witch Hunts and Ritual Performance hosted by artist Amy Kingsmill.  

Light Source brings light to lost histories of persecuted people- primarily women, and honours them. It explores and expands the use of body performance techniques and contextualises them within the practice of queer people and women, creating a space to share these techniques & histories. More information about the ongoing talks and workshops organised by Light Source is available on their website.

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COMPETITION: Win 1x pair of tickets to attend Light Source presents Chao-Ying Rao: To Weaponise, to Fetishise at the Horse Hospital at 19:00 on Thursday 25 November 2021.


To enter the competition, send an email to jamie@run-riot.com with the correct answer in the ‘subject’ line. The winner will be randomly selected.

Q: Where does artist Chao-Ying Rao (aka Betty) live and work?
A: .1)
Edinburgh .2) Brighton .3) Glasgow .4) Bristol

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