Our all new summer exhibitions are officially OPEN!

Susan Lieu presents: 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother
Past Event

Nationally acclaimed performance artist Susan Lieu presents her one-woman show, 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother to BIMA. This hybrid presentation features a recorded screening of her critically lauded 2019 production followed by a live Q&A.

Two hours into surgery, Susan’s mother loses oxygen to her brain and the plastic surgeon deliberately does not call 9-1-1 for fourteen minutes. Five days later, while in a coma, she flatlines. The surgeon is charged with medical negligence and her family falls apart; no one talks about what happened. Nineteen years later on her wedding day, Susan’s mother’s seat sits empty and Susan realizes she can no longer ignore what she’s always wanted: to know who her mother was. Sifting through thousands of deposition pages and reaching out to the killer’s family, Susan uncovers the painful truth of her mother, herself, and the impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty.

140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother premiered in Seattle in February 2019 with a sold-out run. Later that year, Susan self-produced a nearly sold-out 10-city National Tour with accolades from NBC News, L.A. Times, NPR, The Washington Post (The Lily), American Theatre, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Seattle Times. In February 2020, Lieu held a sold-out World Premiere of the sequel OVER 140 LBS at Seattle’s ACT Theatre as their inaugural SoloFest headliner.

Lieu has performed iterations of her family’s story 51 times to 6000 people from 2019 to 2020.


$15 Member | $18 Non-Member


Bring your ticket to Ba Sa Restaurant between 5pm-6pm for 10% off your dinner order and a chance to meet Susan Lieu!



BIMA is following the COVID-19 recommendations and guidance from Kitsap Public Health District, Washington State Department of Health, and the CDC, and will continue to update health and safety policies as needed. At this time, masks and proof of vaccination is not required–but we welcome you to wear a mask if you choose.

We recommend visiting our website prior to this event for the most up-to-date policies.


May 20, 2022
7:00pm – 8:30pm


Frank Buxton Auditorium



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Excerpt: 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother

Susan Lieu

Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American playwright, performer, and author who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for healing, her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and intergenerational trauma with humor. She took her autobiographical solo theatre show “140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother” on a 10-city national tour with sold out premieres and accolades from L.A. Times, NPR, and American Theatre. Her forthcoming memoir, The Manicurist’s Daughter, will be published in 2023 through Celadon Books (Macmillan). She talks about race, priviledge, and relationships as co-host of the podcast “Model Minority Moms” and serves as an advocate for Consumer Watchdog and Asylum Access. Lieu is a Harvard, Yale, and Hedgebrook alum.