Vee Dagger

Vee Dagger is a Taiwanese lesbian drag artist inspired by villainesses, sixties technicolour, overwrought horror, and birds.

Her work draws on the aesthetics of Taiwanese opera and lesbian identity to explore the melodrama of overwhelming emotion, while incorporating her interest in theatrical fashion.

Vee completed a degree in Film Studies in 2020 and performs with AGE OF THE, a Leeds punk drag collective that aims to push the boundaries of performance and conventions of drag. She is currently collaborating with four other Leeds-based artists to run Queerencia, an arts collective focused on nurturing transgressive live art. She has accumulated miscellaneous drag experience including exhibition performance, film work and ballroom performance, but remains a DIY club kid at heart. 

Instagram // AGE OF THE Instagram // Queerencia Instagram 

Vee’s Digital Residency

A major inspiration for me in my artistic practice has been the work of Cindy Sherman, especially her 1977-1980 project Untitled Film Stills. Sherman appears in all of her work but not as herself, taking herself out of context. Sherman removes her subject – herself – from her own setting, her own context, and imagines a new one. 

Sherman’s self/subject in Untitled Film Stills appears suspended in a single moment midway through something else – a conversation, a walk, an escape. In my project I seek to place myself in a moment that has not happened yet, a return to my hometown that has not happened, against the backdrop of a Taipei I can only remember. My photographs of Taipei take an interest in decay, abandonment, absence and the mundane in the midst of a thriving city. The Taipei in my photographs does not exist because Taipei has grown past it, and I am not there to see this. I am from a moment that no longer exists, moving towards a blank space. 

My interest in the creation of an aggressively artificial reality also stems from my fascination with the aesthetics of traditional Chinese opera, a ubiquitous part of my childhood in Taipei – in adverts, on TV, part of an elementary school field trip. My drag is a response to these aesthetics; I love the elaborate theatricality of the makeup and costuming, and have a long-standing interest in recreating the use of colour (especially vivid pinks) against a white background. The kind of face I’m looking to imitate is seen against lavish backdrops, but I’m interested in setting it against the mundanity of a hometown.

Listen to Vee’s reflection on her Digital Residency here:

Other things!