Shahmen Suku (Singapore/Australia) was born in 1987 in Singapore and arrived in Australia in 2009. He is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling. Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha La Bia, the Diva from India, who entered the country by dubious means. Moving to Australia has given Shahmen multiple perspectives on migration, culture, race, colonisation and gender identity. Some of these issues cannot be discussed openly in Singapore or as himself, and finds expression in his alter ego.
Drawing on a background in biomedical science, cooking and interior design, Radha’s performances create holistic experiences that encompass culinary science and spatial dynamics. Spiced with family stories, Radha’s shows range across pop culture, social media and an understanding of Australia as a foreign body. Radha La Bia is a persona portrayed by Shahmen Suku.