An entertainer, public speaker, educator, and performance artist, Kristina Wong can now add public servant to her long resume. Wong has always addressed fraught social themes in her work, but now she is actively dedicated to making social change, as she freely blurs the lines between artist, activist and elected political representative.
For at least a decade Wong has been pushing the envelope and provoking thought with her speaking engagements, artistic performances, media appearances and written works. Now, she’s managed to get herself elected to a seat on the Wilshire Center Sub-District 5 Koreatown Neighborhood Council.
“Being in public office makes me think about what it means to be an artist,” Wong said. “It makes me think about creating change. For me, and I’m sure for most people, the world is so crazy right now; and it just seems like everything is upside down. Politicians and artists have switched jobs.”
Merging bits of social commentary, satire, improvisation, performance art and political commentary, Wong tells the Weekly that her new project is creating a campaign-based performances, wherein she will tour off and on throughout 2020.
“As an artist, you can be an anarchist and do whatever you want,” Wong says. “But as a politician you have to compromise all the time and it’s annoying. But being in public office doesn’t mean I will censor what I do. When I campaign I wear the same white suits. The line is sometimes blurry, and even my friends are confused. They thought it was a joke when I ran and asked me if I was serious, and I said ‘YEAH!’ ”
With her experience as a media personality for the progressive movement, Wong is proud of her accomplishments, such as her production Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, dedicated to decreasing suicides among Asian women, and “Wong Street Journal,” her writing for the Huffington Post.
But most recently, her web series Radical Cram School, has caused controversy and fervor among the Right. “I’ve become this right wing meme,” she said of the series, where she teaches school-age Asian females about issues such as gender oppression, microaggression, social justice and misogyny. “There were six episodes, all tongue in cheek, and these guys on the Right, they see an Asian like this and immediately think communist, indoctrination, propaganda.”
“Even Alex Jones and Infowars covered it, they called me racist,” Wong said. “I’m at the point where, I’m that person to them, this weird character. But Jones himself is interesting to watch as a radical performance artist. We’re in such amazing times and I am so fascinated by the presidency of Donald Trump. It’s not a matter of how qualified you are anymore. It’s about your performance.”