My desire to create art comes from my search for the meaning of our existence. I use my artwork as a key to understand others and myself. The most precious thing in my life is the growth process. Art is my guide and mentor....

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Immigrant Artists

In 2011, when my family was affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the focus of my work changed. I have engaged with educational and environmental protection groups, and worked on raising awareness about social and environmental issues. I have been asking myself what I was born to express.

I was part of "Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice" at the New York Foundation for the Arts. It was a process to understand what "Social Practice" is and to figure out what is my expression. As the end of this year's program, I joined my NYFA's social practice colleagues in BOOGIE ON THE BOULEVARD in The Bronx in coordination with Rica Takashima.

I provided a workshop that made a health card game using edible ink. The idea of this card game came from the traditional Japanese game “Karuta". This workshop was blessed with plenty of sun and participants from families of several races. Many participants were interested in edible ink and health issues. I enjoyed talking with the participants and participating in their work. It was my first outdoor workshop in a tent. I would like to further develop such a workshop.

Health Card Game
I made cards from recycled paper and handmade edible ink. I also prepared edible and non edible color markers and crayons in order to compare them. Participants draw a health catchword and its image on separate cards. “Health card game” helps us learn about our health and our environment while sharing ideas and information as we play together.

Boogie On The Boulevard
September 10th, 2017 from Noon - 4 PM
Grand Concourse at 165th Street, The Bronx

“Immigrant Artists” 
It was a collective of four immigrant artists in New York City, working in different disciplines. This project celebrated our diversity. It was a response to negative attitudes toward immigrants, embodied by the election of President Trump. Doubt, anxiety, and distrust are created when people can't catch up with the tide of a changing world. Sharing art, talking with others, and expressing thoughts through interactive arts helped everyone bond, network, get strong, build confidence, and grow. 

Immigrant Artists helped build bridges between the local community and immigrants. Our project is a space where strangers from different backgrounds can meet, understand, and create art together. Through interactive arts, participants experienced face-to-face personal contact, rather than communicating through the Internet's social networking services in virtual worlds. This face-to-face, non-computer, human interaction is urgently needed in our society.

                                                                    Photo by David Ashford

Participating Artists:
Rica Takashima from Japan, Peekaboo-sculptures 
Deborah Wasserman from Brazil and Israel, Interactive Performance
Keke Brown from New Zealand,  Communication Drawing 
Yasuyo Tanaka from Japan, Health Card Game

Supported by  The Bronx Museum, Bx Arts Factory, Citizens Committee for NYC, and NYFA.

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