The Eastern Margins Teahouse

Words and IMAGES of ZAH |  Published April 2020

We welcome ZAH - the Japanese Filipinx trans producer bending fashion and gender while sending waves through the electronic scene. Join us as we delve into identity politics and explore finding serenity in lack of control and the ethereal world of spirits.

Angel symphonies and haunted beats, icy harmonies to dark industrial pop. ZAH performs as a pure identity in an attempt to call back lost innocence.

So much wants to see us suffer. Living, if not thriving, is their biggest threat. Honing our enlightenment, our evolution is resistance…

Appropriate the pressure into beauty. Transmute the pain into craft. Don't let white institutions and cis-normative structures break you. We're crystals being tumbled and polished.

It feels like mixed race people are still finding their way out of the grey area of not belonging. I feel on the brink of paving my place. Though it's a constant.

The foundation for an artist and public persona has to be carefully woven especially when someone's trans identity is met with violence and confusion.

I want my craft to represent rawness. Marginalized communities don't have the luxury of being perfect, we always have our past. If not our personal past, then our family's.

It's detrimental to desire a false sense of perfection but it's easy to when we're forced to be exceptional just to be seen or considered.

"I'm learning to let my craft be vulnerable and in the present. Refusing any mindsets that hinder my flow or inhibit my consciousness."

"Healing and reclamation. Decolonizing my mind and soul. My work is therapeutic. The performance is collective catharsis. I'm not defined by inherited suffering, but finally the catalyst to release. Breaking the cycle. The pillar.

I'm learning to let my craft be vulnerable and in the present. Refusing any mindsets that hinder my flow or inhibit my consciousness.

My howls carry the breathe of my ancestors.

My work is a constant filtered release of non linear pain.

Grey area vulnerability where thrashing meets gentle.

ZAH; thrashing meets gentle

ZAH NTS mix sounds like; emotional rave, therapy mosh

Dancing, crying, grieving and bliss

A real challenge has been confidence. I hurled myself into being a musician and performer. Practically everything I do is self taught with no technical education. Just learning to have faith in myself.

Accepting that external doubt is always screaming, I choose not to hear. I drown it out with trance and gabber hehe.

Loving the flow and letting go of any false sense of control.

Loving the stillness.

"And it's a lot more confusing finding your place when no one looks like you"

Learning to just be. It's most genuine not trying too hard or comparing yourself to others. You are who you are. Sometimes the simplest acceptance is the most crucial.

And it's a lot more confusing finding your place when no one looks like you.

There's never ending pretentious art scenes that have access but only prioritize white gaze or the tokens.

I imagine how extravagant my ancestors were before the binary.

It's western society that's suppressed tradition. Being that, adapting what that might look like in the present.

Holy transformation. Being the fantasy.

I’ve always loved spirits, anime and deity-like imagery. I remember being really young and watching what I did because I knew they were always watching. I cared only about their judgment. I've always felt a mutual understanding with demons too.

I see myself exuding that dreamy energy in this realm. A spirit, a visitor in breathing physical form for now.