From the Artist:
"'Portrait/Young Woman' is one of a series of portraits I have created which were based on archival photographs of Asian women. Although little is known about the real women in the print, her face inspired a fictional narrative about the subject's history. Portraiture, as a form of biography, is part of a body of work which attempts to reveal the presence of an inner life in subjects that have often been dehumanized and culturally stereotyped. Portraiture in this context, servers as a way to present positive images of Asians in America; who are seen in relation to work, family and the community.
As a visual artist, my work examines issues of cultural identity, from the perspective of an Asian woman. I am especially interested in the relationship between art and history, and the role that memory plays in the retelling of a collective past. Through the use of autobiography, family stories and photographs, historical material and oral histories, I create works on paper- pages of 'living' history which help me to establish a personal sense of place and continuity.
Throughout my work, visual references are made to the screens, scrolls and motifs found in traditional Asian art. These references serve as a link between the past and the present, the exotic and the ordinary, and the foreign and the familiar. In my recent work, the immigrant's concerns serve as a metaphor for what is perceived as foreign and marginal in American society. For these marginalized and uprooted communities, history, tradition, and family often form the principal connections between 'there' and 'here'; between the life left behind and the endless possibilities of the life that lies before us. As a visual artist, I use the specificity of my experience as an Asian American as a personal space in which to locate broader issues of race and gender; a space through which a glimpse of common ground is made possible."
Born in New York City, Tomie Arai has designed both temporary and permanent public works of art for Creative Time, the US General Services Administration Art in Architecture Program, the NYC Percent for Art Program, Cambridge Arts Cou...Read More