RuPaul’s Drag Race star adds spicy kick to her style
Forget about those tired drag acts with banal impersonations of Cher, Streisand and the rest. A new wave of drag artists is giving the art form a kick in the ass, inventing fascinating personae that don’t give off a whiff of cliché, and Kim Chi is leading the charge.
The Korean-American performer, aka Sang-Young Shin, now living in Chicago, has parlayed her alt sensibilities – a little bit clumsy, proudly fat, femme and Asian – into a second/third ranking in the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
She’s funny and unpredictable, and, though she may be a terrible dancer who’s admitted to having trouble walking in high heels, her style is stunning. Wait till you see those false nails, fanning out in spectacular ways. To that extent, she typifies the best of old-school drag: extreme femme, over-the-top costumes. But she’s definitely one of the freshest faces working in the genre.
Kim Chi performs at the 519’s Green Space Festival on June 30.