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Satomi Shirai: Home and Home

Topaz Arts
5503 39th Avenue, Woodside, 718-505-0440
Queens Misc.
May 8 - June 13, 2010
Reception: Saturday, May 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Topaz Arts Visual Arts Program is pleased to present photography by Satomi Shirai in her first solo exhibition in New York.

Home and Home is a solo exhibition of new photography by Satomi Shirai who explores duality and displacement in defining cultural identity. In these large-scale photographs, viewers peer into personal space and habitat. Whether real or imagined spaces, Shirai’s images convey a portrait of home — displaying Japanese sensibilities, where the artist is originally from, within the context her life in New York. Placing herself within the photograph, there is a performative aspect to her imagery, capturing the physicality and psyche of interior space. In her latest series, Shirai reconstructs a dollhouse, placing familiar objects in a dislocated arrangement, and then enlarges the image, inviting the viewer into the realm of familiarity and uncertainty.

“I am interested in physical and psychological process of adaptation and assimilation in migration. How cultural hybridity occurs, and what changes one’s identity and mind-set in the process intrigue me. I have actually been in the process as a semi-immigrant since I moved from Tokyo to New York six years ago, and have realized that having two homes here and there has kept me being a transient, who connect to / disconnect from the place and people I am familiar with.

In my work, I have been photographing scenes and events in my real life, and taken pictures of the dollhouse, which I reconstruct a Barbie house with foam board. On the one hand, the photographs from the real life are a documentary based on things that surround me and that I experience at the moment; on the other hand, the photographs of the dollhouse are metaphor or reflection of things I grew up with based on my memory.” — Satomi Shirai

Satomi Shirai, originally from Tokyo, Japan, has exhibited her photographs in numerous shows including “Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition” at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC (2009), “Public/Private” at Arlington Art Center in Arlington, VA (2009), “Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2008” at National Portrait Gallery in London (2008), “Spectral Analysis” at Motus Fort in Japan (2008), and has participated in Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Yamaguchi (1998). Recent awards include a 2007 Scholarship Award from International Center of Photography, a 2006-07 Fellowship from the Agency of Cultural Affairs, Japan, and her work is included in the public collection of Kiyosato Museum of Photography Art in Yamanashi. Shirai holds a B.A. in Visual Communication Design from Musashino Art University in Tokyo, completed the full-time Certificate Program from International Center of Photography, and is currently a MFA candidate at City University of New York Hunter College.
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