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"I am capable of creating anything I envision": An Interview with Alice Longyu Gao

Center image source here

Alice Longyu Gao is a visionary, and the world is blessed to have been offered a glimpse into her chaotic, shimmering mind through her work, most recently through Pericura 2.0, a part art installation, part beauty parlor event that took place at Moxy Times Square during NYFW. Every part of her-- from her fashion choices to her music taste -- is an act of self expression. She is an it-girl for good reason: authenticity. She seems to have a deep understanding of herself, which makes the unexpected parts of her character even more delightful because she does not see them as such. You may have her pegged as solely a style icon, but her DJ skills will impress. She appears carefree and looking for fun, but her perfectionism and inner workaholic are the driving forces in her life. Full of seemingly antithetical traits, but never confused by them, philosophically speaking Alice is nearly impossible to distinguish from her work-- this in itself is an accomplishment.

What work are you most proud of?

I hope I can say "I am proud of being myself and making this life [for myself]" when I die.

What were your inspirations for Pericura/Pericura 2.0?

Pericura 2.0 is myself, this Alice, deconstructed. My inspirations included 90s Japanese manga, Shintoism, mythology (Manifestation), alternative fashion, and my alter egos.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't watch TV while playing piano. Treat music theory seriously and play with music.

Do people ever consider your work frivolous? If so, how do you respond to/combat this stereotype?

I think so? But that's fine! Those people won't come to see my shows or work with me anyway.

Who (or what) are your inspirations?

Everything can be my inspiration and I am pathetically "never not working."

What is your most prized possession?

My star of David tattoos. They are red in color and I have six stars on my right arm. I was so moved after visiting Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam.

What was your favorite DJ gig?

Hennessy Chinese New Year Party.

Who do you think the most creative person alive is?

Johnny Kitagawa

Who was the most interesting person that stopped by Pericura 2.0?

The Lolita girls group! I was so happy that Pericura 2.0 attracted them. I was never part of the Lolita community, but I love Lolita fashion and I wear some Lolita pieces too.

What was your favorite part of Pericura 2.0?

We had a girl coming from Boston to see Pericura 2.0. We opened for 4 days and there was a day that New York had pouring rain. I was not there and there were people coming from afar to see the show. Initially, the security didn't allow them to come in, so they dmed me. I was panicking so much because I really appreciate when people come to see my work.

Lastly, artistically speaking, what's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?

I am capable of creating anything I envision. The biggest challenge is myself. Everyday I wake up and I can barely give myself some love and acknowledgement. There is always a "better Alice" that I can pursue. "This Alice" is never good enough. But I also know in order to keep going I need to manage my inferiority complex.


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