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Rainbow chaser
Dance of resistance
From her studio in Tweed Heads, in the New South Wales northern rivers region, artist Hiromi Tango has become well-known for making rainbow art to aid her mental health and that of others. Yet for the two years prior to the pandemic, she wore only white: her way of grieving humanity’s environmental impact, evidenced in reef coral bleaching.

The grief was also personal. Tango wanted to metaphorically “cleanse” her spirituality, genetics and memory. So, she covered herself in white housepaint for Bleached Genes, a photographic series that was “based on my father being bedbound and going through dementia, and him not realising who I am sometimes”.

Beneath a series of chandeliers descending from the ceiling, eight performers evenly spaced from one another turn on heel in tightly choreographed formation. Surveillance cameras have been intermittently projecting the dancers’ moves onto a huge grey metal wall behind them. But one of their number is missing.

The wall suddenly lights up from behind, revealing the ninth dancer at the back of the stage, bound to a chair.

Steve's essays Bent Man Running published in Growing Up Queer in Australia and Stream drama in Meanjin autumn 2020.
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