“Make honest art and let the world decide what to do with it.” – Madame Gandhi (Kiran Gandhi)
Mintzu Chen is a Taiwanese American multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, NY. They hold a BFA from VCUarts in kinetic imaging, a major that encapsulates emerging digital media and new media arts. Mintzu’s art practice includes but is not limited to: poetry, animation/video art, Muay Thai (aka Thai boxing), and music. It’s important to note that their creative practice is fluid and boundless. For Mintzu, these mediums function as channels for introspective and expressive concepts. With radical imagination, their work explores how the marginalized can nurture their inner spirits and manifest utopian pockets of vulnerability and safety in the face of systemic oppression. In the past, their work has covered topics such as gender theory from an east asian lens, the impact of childhood immigration on memory, and acts of love and intimacy within the self. The intention is to elicit feelings of catharsis, acceptance, and/or hope while connecting empathetically with others.
Pre-Quarantine, Mintzu was working multiple teaching roles with separate classes of kindergarteners, fourth graders, and eighth graders. Their teaching philosophy is founded upon building relationships of mutual trust with students and cultivating a space where their voices are heard. A child at heart, Mintzu can connect with their students with ease–oftentimes sharing similar affinity for animated media. During-Quarantine, Mintzu continues their pursuit of self-improvement through attending virtual events for evolving teaching strategies and community artmaking. In addition, they coach virtual muay thai classes each week while offering in-person private training to members of their isolation cluster. Post-Quarantine, Mintzu hopes to apply their growing knowledge of digital learning and teaching artistry in classrooms, virtual or otherwise, and serve students through multimedia arts.
At TAP, Mintzu has participated in workshops, internships, and electives to study and apply teaching strategies with a focus on transformative justice. They’ve collaborated on lesson plans, developed social justice pedagogy, and implemented teaching strategies for multiple learning types. Mintzu interned at PS/MS 279 with Hattie Schapiro under their mentors Reilly Horan and Gary DeVirgilio. Through TAP, Mintzu has developed lesson plans and teaching paths ready to be utilized in the classroom.
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
“My most memorable TAP moment occurred during my internship. Due to the unconventional way I present–split black and blond hair, androgynous clothing, and anime tattoo–students are naturally curious about me. There was a fourth grade student who was usually eager to chat about anime with me. One afternoon, I was at our Illustration Station guiding students as needed, when he asked me to draw him as Shoto Todoroki, a powerful character from My Hero Academia. Portraiture was my favorite subject matter and anime-style illustrations were my favorite past time when I was young, so I complied. Next thing I knew I was surrounded by students struck by my ability to replicate media they consumed. It was especially heartwarming to experience, because I was harassed for enjoying anime when I was young. Now, this skill is a gateway for me to connect with our youth.”
Links to External Materials