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Okinawa Time with Photographer Mao Ishikawa
April 1, 2017 @ 12:15 pm - 2:15 pm EDT$10
Please join us for a talk and presentation by Mao Ishikawa, one of Okinawa’s most celebrated photographers, about her work from the “Hot Days in Camp Hansen” and “Dai-Ryukyu Shashin Emaki.” Being an excellent essayist with her own original way of writing, Mao is renowned in Japan as a speaker with keen insight, profound love, human sympathy and a wild sense of humor. Her aunt, Teiko Yonaha-Tursi, who has been living in the US since 1964, will participate in the event. Teiko was a survivor of the Battle of Okinawa and is now a karate dance choreographer and dancer as well as a Goodwill Ambassador appointed by the Okinawan Government. She is active as an overseas reporter and essayist for the Okinawa Times newspaper. Enjoy the tropical intensity of Okinawa that this powerful and soulful aunt/niece team reflect.
Mao Ishikawa identifies strongly as an Okinawan photographer. Her first project, “Hot Days in Camp Hansen,” documented young women who worked in bars that catered to American soldiers, particularly focusing on African-Americans who sometimes became their boyfriends. To capture the raw and direct image of subjects revealing “forbidden” relationships, Mao herself worked as a bar hostess from 1975 to 1977 while taking these photos.
Her current project is radically different in style from “Hot Days in Camp Hansen.” “Dai-Ryukyu Shashin Emaki” (The Great Ryukyu Photo Picture Scroll) is a scroll of color photos printed on a roll of cloth. Each photo theatrically represents an important historical scene in Okinawa, from the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom to today. The project is motivated by fierce anger toward Okinawa’s current situation. Her rage is expressed with powerful satire and great humor, which gives it an even stronger appeal to the viewers.
Although her subjects and style has changed throughout her career, her direct and brave approach to the harsh reality of Okinawa has always been resolute. Her challenging and sometimes controversial work has made a strong impact that has subsequently been the topic of discussion in numerous photo books and exhibitions, engaging a wide range of enthusiastic admirers.
Doors open 12:00 p.m. Start 12:15 p.m.
Admission fee : $10
RSVP : MaoIshikawaInNY@gmail.com (Please mention the event name.)
Mao Ishikawa will be participating in several other events in NYC. Please find information about those events here:
Mao Ishikawa was born 1953 in Okinawa where she currently lives and works as a photographer. In 1974, she attended a photography workshop organized by the renowned photographer Shomei Tomatsu. Her focus has always been the Okinawan people and how they live their lives.
Teiko Yonaha-Tursi, MSW was born in Okinawa and is a WWII survivor. She worked at the American Newspaper company “Morning Star” in Oyama, Okinawa. In 1964 Teiko Moved to the USA due to an interracial marriage. In 1978 her husband passed at the age of 41 due to the possible Agent Orange disease, which had created an undiagnosed complicated internal disease. The children were 11, 13 & 14 years old and Teiko was 37. He had been hospitalized every year since he had returned from Vietnam in 1968. After his untimely death, Teiko and her 3 children began Karate training; around the same time Teiko began Martial arts dance and choreography. These activities still continue. In 2004 she retired from working as a counselor and Youth Case Manager at the Mental Health Agency in New Jersey. In 2006 Teiko was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the Okinawan Government. In 2014 she resigned from Presidency of the Okinawa American Association of New York. Teiko has been active as an Overseas Reporter since 1992 for the Okinawa Times Newspaper, Essayist since 2013.