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Opening Reception — Photographs by Satomi Shirai
October 23, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) announces “Home and Home: New York in My Life,” an exhibition of photographs by Satomi Shirai. These seven works reveal, in boldly playful as well as subtle ways, a newly arrived immigrant’s strategies to create a sense of home and to discover what those strategies are. From the outset, CRS has sought to provide a creative and spiritual home to artists and seekers from all over the world, and we believe that this exhibition speaks directly to our mission and the experience of so many members of our community.
The exhibition will open on October 19, 2015 and be on display through November 28, 2015. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm.
While the photographs in this exhibition look like documentary-style records of the often messy and alien life that an immigrant lives prior to acquiring furnishings and fully settling in (does an immigrant ever fully settle in?), the photographs are actually meticulously staged with a highly controlled mastery of mis-en-scene and craft. This creates a tension between order and chaos, reality and artifice, into which the artist places herself and her own child and friends as models, challenging our initial impulse to label the life depicted as disordered. The more we look, the more we recognize objects, symbols, behaviors, relationships that give meaning and context to the home depicted. We recognize that we carry home within us and carry on a never-ending process of using our minds in diverse and complex ways to anchor ourselves and project our sense of home into our habitat, making it our own even in the midst of constant change.
About Satomi Shirai
Satomi Shirai is originally from Tokyo, and currently lives and works in New York. She completed the full-time Certificate Program at International Center of Photography in 2007, and received her MFA from CUNY Hunter College in 2010. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally including at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, National Portrait Gallery in London, and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Her photographs are in the collection of Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and Kiyosato Museum of Photographic art.
Walls with windows and doors form the house,
but the empty space within it is the essence of the house.
— from The Uses of Not, Lao Tse
In this body of work, Home and Home: New York in My Life, I explore what constitutes the concept of home, as an immigrant who chose to live in New York. Tangibility versus intangibility are brought up, and added to the discussion. How do we assess or assume home?
My relocation to New York is not about overcoming a culture that is distinct, but encountering and understanding cultural disparity and similarity. Living in NYC highlights the intangible aspects of cultures today that include language, myth, mind-sets, daily customs, social class issues, and identity. The diverse sense of femininity provides me other vantage point to examine the collective consciousness in the cities.
I am bringing up positions of custom, holiday, architecture, dress, food, location, and home design as a means to explore how culture is being inter-mixed or is remaining unchanged at a microcosmic level, and how national identity and sensibility are maintained or relinquished through living in a cross-cultural city life. The more understanding of cultural contrasts I have, the more I feel closer to the U.S, and so my space in New York is psychologically being expanded.
A new point of view has been added to my life and work. I gave birth to my baby in New York and became a mother. This has enormously shifted my state of mind and lifestyle. The project or new chapter will be continued with the unknown transitions.