Japanese American Women Speak
Rosie Yasukochi

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Rosie Yasukochi

Rosie Yasukochi

Rosie Yasukochi is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work focuses on complicating, unpacking, and explaining trans-generational trauma, multiracial identity, and the exotification of Asian culture and Asian American women through communal collective healing. Her practice is heavily influenced by family history, particularly the incarceration of her grandmother in the Poston, AZ Japanese Internment camp and her grandfather's time spent in the 442nd RCT all-Japanese fighting unit during WWII. She enjoys working both large and small scale, as she is most drawn to sculptural, performative installation as well as narrative, graphic novel illustration.

rosie-yasukochi.format.com

Sonomi Kobayshi

Sonomi Kobayshi

Born and raised in Japan, Sonomi Kobayashi, is a New York based painter and printmaker who is interested in science, physics, stars, nature, and spirituality.

Her work is symbolic and abstract.  Her recent oil paintings are based on images that she saw during her meditation.  She also paints symbolic shapes that she finds attractive in nature. Her ink drawings and printmaking works are organic and abstract.  She likes to mix traditional and contemporary techniques and experiment with materials, color, and shapes.

Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Japan, and Europe, including Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (NYC), Ground Floor Gallery(NYC), Lesley Heller Workspace (NYC), Galerie ARTAe, (Leipzig Germany), The National Art Center Museum (Tokyo), Galerie La (Tokyo, Japan).  She received Will Barnet Grant in Printmaking in 2013, participated in residencies at MASS MoCA (MA), Vermont Studio Center (VT), ASL Vytlacil Campus (NY), and Cat'Art Contemporary Art Centre (France).  Her work was purchased and became a part of the permanent collection of Yuko Nii Foundation of Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in 2014.  Her current studio is in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY.

sonomikobayashi.com

kyoko nakamaru

kyoko nakamaru

kyoko nakamaru is an interdisciplinary artist, storyteller, writer, and hobby musician who uses her relationship with ancestors and the unseen to weave stories of what was and what will be.

Raised in Wisconsin and Iowa by devoted local and global activists, she considers herself a part of the internment diaspora, those whose families were permanently displaced from the west coast after WWII. She continues to carry her family’s commitment to environmentalism, social justice, and human rights and seeks to use all the mediums she works in as medicine to help her communities heal.

kyokonakamaru.com

Yuko Shimizu

Yuko Shimizu

YUKO SHIMIZU (清水裕子) is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and instructor at School of Visual Arts. Newsweek Japan has chosen Yuko as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects(世界が尊敬する日本人100)” in 2009.
Her first self-titled monograph came out in 2011 (Gestalten), second monograph Living with Yuko Shimizu was released from ROADS Publishing of Ireland in 2016. Other books include: A Wild Swan(collaboration with author Michael Cunningham, FSG, 2015) and a multi award winning children’s book Barbed Wire Baseball (written by Marissa Moss, Abrams, 2013).

You may have seen her work on The Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, VISA billboards, Apple, Microsoft, NIKE and Target ads, as well as on the book covers of Penguin, Scholastic, DC Comics, and on the pages of NY Times, Time, Newsweek, New Yorker, WIRED and in many other publications over the last 15 years.

Illustration is actually Yuko’s second career. Although art has always been her passion, she had initially chosen a more practical path of studying advertising and marketing at Waseda University and took a job in corporate PR in Tokyo. It never quite made her happy. At age 22, she was in mid-life crisis.

Yuko ended up working the corporate job for 11 years, so she could figure out what she really wanted in life, as well as to save up just enough to play a biggest gamble of her life: She moved to New York City in 1999, where she briefly spent her childhood, to study art for the first time. Yuko graduated with MFA from SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003 and has been illustrating since. She has also been teaching the next generation of talents at the alma mater.

She works at her studio in midtown Manhattan, and fulfills her passion of world travel by giving lectures and workshops around the world and various cities in the US. She has not gotten into mid-life crisis since she has became an artist.

Please do not mix her up with another Yuko Shimizu. This Yuko did NOT create Hello Kitty.

yukoart.com

Mitsuko Brooks

Mitsuko Brooks

Mitsuko Brooks

ミ津子 Mitsuko Brooks traverses between a Nisei and Issei Japanese American artist born during snowfall in Aomori Prefecture of Japan on Misawa Air Force Base, and grew up in Dover, Delaware; Albany, Oregon; Aviano, Italy; Gaithersburg, Maryland; and New York City. Her grandparents are from Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan and Virginia in the states, and parents born in Manchuria, China and Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. ミ津子 received her BFA from Cooper Union, MFA in Painting & Drawing from UCLA and attended The Oxbow School. She is a member of asian mamas in the arts, Japanese American Womxn Speak, Asian American Women Artist Association and The Asian Diasporic Network. She completed artist residencies at Queen's Museum's Set on Freedom, The Wassaic Project, The School of Making Thinking, and The Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. ミ津子 was awarded The Common Field-Field Grant, The Sally Van Der Lier Fellowship, the Artists' Fellowship, Inc., The Bette Midler Scholarship and The Resnick Grant to note a few. She has exhibited at Smack Mellon, Steve Turner Gallery, Rush Arts, SFAI, California College of Arts, SOMArts, and The Newhouse Centre for Contemporary Art. Brooks' artist book, zines and mail art are in permanent collections at Smithsonian's Archive of American Art, Artexte Information Centre, Barnard College Library, Otis College Library, UCLA Arts Library, Cooper Union Library, Asian Art Archive in America, and Los Angeles Contemporary Archive. ミ津子 works to manipulate, reorganize, and repurpose online texts, artifacts, and trash through collage and mail art. Embedded in her family tree, with two generations of colonialism; her life and work are acts to defy against domination and exploitation. ミ津子 is vastly interested in the mundane and fragile fleeting moments of everyday life and the human condition.

www.mitsukobrooks.me

Hannah Watanabe-Rocco

Hannah Watanabe-Rocco

Hannah Watanabe-Rocco is a writer and artist living in Los Angeles, California. She self-publishes zines in addition to working in animation and comics. Her most recent project was writing, directing and storyboarding an animated short at Nickelodeon called "Jan & Bobbie." Her work focuses on the small, sometimes mundane, sometimes ugly, always human moments that defy traditional narrative arcs and three-act structures. She's also influenced by the experience of being biracial and struggling with a lifetime of depression and anxiety, and the goal of her work is to empower and connect with people who might also feel alienated. If she could be any dog, she’d be a grumpy terrier mutt with a scraggly beard and a heart of gold.

hannahwr.com

Kozy Kitchens

Kozy Kitchens

Kozy Kitchens is a visual artist from Japan, living in Los Angeles over half her life now. Making with clay is a purely joyful experience for her. Her hand built ceramic sculptures and functional objects are playful, often humorous, and influenced by a deep appreciation of animals and the natural world. She also creates drawings, paintings, murals, and other projects under the moniker kozyndan (often along with her husband, Dan).

b.1978

MariNaomi

MariNaomi

MariNaomi is the award-winning author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016), I Thought YOU Hated ME (Retrofit Comics, 2016), and the Life on Earth trilogy(Graphic Universe, 2018-2020). Her work has appeared in over sixty print publications and has been featured on websites such as The Rumpus, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast and BuzzFeed.

MariNaomi's comics and paintings have been featured by such institutions as the Smithsonian, the De Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American Museum.

In 2011 and 2018, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She is the founder of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database. She has taught classes for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA program, and was a guest editor for PEN Illustrated. She is the cohost of the Ask Bi Grlzpodcast with author Myriam Gurba.


marinaomi.com