Denise Uyehara, Natalie Brewster Nguyen and their children, Rene Tingaara and Sula Ray
Mama/Baby/Dada, 2009
Materials: paper, crayons, markers

Mama-Baby-Dada is an ongoing investigative performance project by award-winning artists Denise Uyehara and Natalie Brewster Nguyen with their young children, René Tingaara and Sula Ray, respectively. The project is built upon a series of "investigative play activities," or "games" in which parent and child create a map of their of work and play, a type of dadaist device which embraces both chaos, mindful activities, and everything in between. As the project develops the artists pay special attention to how work is informed by economic struggle and mixed-heritage identity. It also integrates a new form of oral history with semiotics of the body to illuminate the collaborative terrain of parent-child relations. Mama/Baby/Dada explores the territory between home and work, mamahood and artmaking and everything in between. Originally inspired by the Postpartum Document (1973-1979) by visual artist Mary Kelly in which she documented the language of her son, Mama/Baby/Dada explores a woman’s investment in her child’s growth while tracking the merging geographies of work and play. The artists have held workshops at Archipelago Studios and MOCA-Tucson.

Denise Uyehara & Natalie Nguyen