Emily Takara

In this time of isolation and separation from friends and family, I hope to explore my Japanese culture and history in relation to the present. My investigation is guided by the central question: how can the cultural intersection of the past, present, and future be a source of revival and inspiration. My investigation started by combining the past and present themes of music through laser cut wood pieces. From there, for Image 3, I applied the contemporary technology of laser cutting to the centuries-old technique of Japanese woodblock printing. In images 4-6, I adapted the ukiyo-e woodblock style into watercolor paintings that utilize delicate, stylistic line work and soft color modulation. I am exploring the idea of a warrior through layers of culture, time, and gender roles. Each piece depicts a modern-day hero (a coronavirus doctor, a firefighter, and a BLM activist) in a layered, composite outfit synthesizing geisha, samurai, and modern symbols. My emphasis on exploring the past, but with perspective on the present and the future, is shaping the path of my investigation as I look at my own culture, but also the broader context of my current society and world.

I’m selling merchandise featuring my artworks below in an online store. All proceeds will go to three related organizations

The Tsuru for Solidarity project 

The Latino Community Foundation 2020 Fire Relief Funds 

Direct Relief COVID 19