Queen Gidrea's Kaiju Profile
Height: 150 meters
Wingspan: 175 meters
Mass: 70,000 metric tons
Powers/Weapons: Flight at Mach 5, LazerTits, Time Travel, Holographic [in]Visibility, Psychic Humiliation, UltraQueer pheromones, teeth.
About Queen Gidrea
Queen Gidrea is a character persona of artist Chanel Matsunami Govreau. She is a multi-headed golden dragon and merciless destroyer. She slants effortlessly through time slit constellations, blasting psychic/social ruptures into ancient and future civilizations. Rarely visible in the human spectrum, she is inherently evil.
Chanel Matsunami Govreau Artist Statement
As an interdisciplinary artist, I explore themes of fantasy, queerness, and Japanese-diasporic identity. I engage these issues through installation, screen printing, photography, and performance. Being a multi-hyphenated individual -mixed race, femme, bisexual and Asian American- my identity is often challenged or questioned. I live at the intersections of sometimes disparate communities. I use fantasy, drag and cosplay to build worlds where folks with intersectional identities, like myself, can exist with infinite belonging and engage in radical play.
In my recent work, I reference traditional monsters of Japanese folklore, known as yokai, through a series of self portraits. In this ongoing project I aim to embody the hidden and forgotten queer and female ancestors of my family by reimaging them as contemporary yokai creatures. Through this practice, I use my body to transform the often villainous and horrific portrayals of Japanese yokai monsters into aspirational female figures empowered with the magic, glamour and camp of their queer identities.
My studio practice includes a combination of digital design, screen printing, and costume construction to create wearable sculpture pieces and full body armor. In my overlapping methods of sculptural costume and performance I look to include traditional Japanese aesthetics into an ever-evolving queer visual culture.
Chanel Matsunami Govreau is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. They have exhibited at Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, WA; SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA; Chashama, New York, NY; FLXST Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Holding House, Detroit, MI.
As an educator, Matsunami Govreau teaches photography and digital storytelling to young people who are recent immigrants to the United States. They are also the co-founder of Unblended, a workshop series celebrating Black and Asian intersectional friendships. They have given numerous artist talks at universities and colleges including Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK; Parsons School of Design, New York, NY; College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI; and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.
Their work has appeared in the Observer, Bitch Magazine and Juxtapoze Online.
Matsunami Govreau received their BFA from UW-Madison in 2011 where they studied performance, printmaking and Asian American Studies.