Interdisciplinary artist Mengxi “Althea” Rao calls herself a cultural facilitator. She creates social engagement models to facilitate open and playful conversations around topics that are traditionally associated with shame and negativity, such as inherited privilege, mental illness, gender and sexuality. Her works empower individuals and help them find reconciliation with their cultures and selves. “Humans exist in the physical realm but my art does not.” Mediums Althea has explored include but are not restricted to: film and video, projection mapping, physical computing, contact improvisation, light sculpture, public space activation, rituals, and choir singing. She has lived and worked in China, Japan and the US, and received trainings in journalism and filmmaking. She picked “Althea” as her English name from a dictionary when she was 14; it means “Healer” in Greek.
Althea is currently a Halcyon Arts Lab Social Impact Fellow. Reach her at althea[dot]rao[at]gmail[dot]com.