Transpacific Borderlands Artist Profiles

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo examines the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California.

In this series of short videos, artists featured in the exhibition discuss their work, their backgrounds, and their identities as Nikkei in Latin America and Southern California.

 

Madalena Hashimoto

Born 1956 in São Paulo, Brazil, Madalena Hashimoto continues to live and work in her home town. She currently teaches undergraduate and post-graduate programs at the USP Center for Japanese Studies. Madalena also translates literary texts and researches erotic woodblock printing (shunga) from the Edo period. Hashimoto’s work, which has been exhibited in Brazil and the United States, incorporates Japanese techniques and materials—such as woodblock printing and washi paper and ink—as well as Western influences, reflecting her hybrid Nipo-Brazilian identity.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Taro Zorrilla

Taro Zorrilla has degrees in architecture from Waseda University in Japan and Autonomous University of Mexico. Zorrilla’s work explores community behavior and conscience. Gathering together the values, knowledge, and dreams of the members of a group, his work recreates or reflects the community ideal. He has focused on multicultural and multinational communities, particularly in relation to human migration habits.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
4 minutes

 

Kenzi Shiokava

Kenzi Shiokava was born 1938 in São Paulo, Brazil. He arrived in Los Angeles in 1964, earning a bachelor’s degree from Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts) in 1972 and a master’s degree from Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design) in 1974. His work, which revolves around wood carving and assemblage, embodies a cultural hybridity that can be seen in his wood and macramé totems, which represent, respectively, his Japanese and Brazilian sides.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Yuriko Rojas Moriyama

Yuriko Rojas Moriyama was born in 1981 in Mexico City. She graduated from the School of Art at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), where she also obtained a master’s degree in visual studies. She teaches visual arts and has worked as an academic, museographer, designer, and artist. Rojas Moriyama has been curating and designing exhibitions with Mexican and international artists since 2007. Her projects have included Intervenciones at the School of Art, which featured in situ works by young local artists.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Shizu Saldamando

Shizu Saldamando was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture in 2000 and her Master of Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts in 2005. She has exhibited her work in both painting and experimental media contexts, and is one of the co-founders of the Los Angeles artist-run cooperative Monte Vista Projects.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Shinpei Takeda

The works of visual artist and filmmaker Shinpei Takeda involve a wide range of themes regarding memory and history. He uses multimedia installations, sound interventions, documentary films, large-scale photography installations, and collaborative community projects in a variety of public contexts. Takeda is founder and creative director of the AjA Project, a nonprofit dedicated to working with resettled refugee children in San Diego and displaced youth in Colombia and Thailand using participatory photography.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Erica Kaminishi

Erica Kaminishi, born and raised in Brazil, lived in Japan for ten years, where she worked, studied pottery, and attended a Ph.D program. Her artwork combines Japanese cultural elements—such as gardens and nihonga (traditional Japanese painting)—with Portuguese language works, such as Fernando Pessoa’s poetry.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Sandra Nakamura

Sandra Nakamura was born in 1981 in Lima, Peru. Working with everyday materials and situations, she creates temporary, site-specific interventions in which she seeks to actively engage the public in sociopolitical investigations. Nakamura holds an Master of Fine Arts degree from the Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Germany.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Patssy Higuchi

Patssy Higuchi grew up in Lima, Peru in a family of artists, learning how to paint from her father and how to throw pottery from her mother. She studied drawing and painting for six years at the National School of Fine Arts of Peru—the same school where her parents met. In 1993, she met her future husband, the Cuban artist A. Alexix García. That same year, the two of them founded Cauri Taller de Gráfica Experimental, a print workshop for artists. The couple briefly lived in Havana, Cuba, where Higuchi was a guest artist at the Experimental Graphic Workshop, before returning to Peru.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
4 minutes

 

Oscar Oiwa

Oscar Oiwa was born 1965 in São Paulo, Brazil and now lives and works in New York. After graduating from São Paulo University’s College of Architecture and Urbanism, Oiwa moved to Japan, where he lived for 11 years. Now one of the most internationally acclaimed Nipo-Brazilian artists, Oiwa has exhibited in over 20 different countries and sees himself as a citizen of the world.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Kiyoto Ota

Kiyoto Ota, born in 1948 in Nagasaki, Japan, settled in Mexico City for his career. Ota studied at the School of Democratic Japan Art, Japanese Art Association, and Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture, and Engraving (“La Esmeralda”). At the latter, he also served as professor of sculpture. He later received a master’s degree in sculpture at the National School of Plastic Arts (ENAP) in San Carlos, where he has taught stone carving since 2006.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Ichiro Irie

Ichiro Irie has exhibited his work internationally in galleries and museums in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Tokyo, London, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Holland, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He has been the owner and director of the popular artist-run space JAUS in Los Angeles since 2009, and is an artist-in-residence at 18th Street Arts Center.

Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
3 minutes

 

Eduardo Tokeshi

Eduardo Tokeshi's work, which has been exhibited throughout Latin America, combines colonial and modern imagery to reflect on identity and belonging. He has represented Peru in multiple cultural events abroad, such as the Bienal de São Paulo and the Havana Biennial.

Directed by Ann Kaneko
Produced by Claudia Sobral, Akira Boch, and Evan Kodani
2017
4 minutes

 

Click on the links below to view the videos with translated transcripts for each profile.

English | Español | 日本語 | Português

 

Major support provided through grants from The Getty Foundation.

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