Artists’ Talk: Masako Miki & Stephanie Syjuco
Masako Miki discusses Ichiren-bozu (Animated prayer beads blue), a new work in BAMPFA’s collection that reflects her interest in reclaiming the power of myth making. By referencing the animistic polytheism of Shinto traditions, she proposes new mythologies, exhibiting through her characters and environments the optimistic reality of the power of imagination to drive the future.
Born and raised in Osaka, Miki has made the Bay Area her home for more than twenty years. Her work in a range of media explores her personal relationship to the folklore and religious practices of her native Japan, including Shinto and Buddhist traditions, and the belief in shape-shifting spirits (yokai).
Stephanie Syjuco talks about her Raiders (Selections from the Asian Art Museum), a collection of flat, laser-cut, life-size images of antique Asian vessels downloaded from the Asian Art Museum’s online databases and adhered to wooden backings. By using open online sources, she investigates how we participate in the construction of culture, and by using Asian vessels, she explores her own heritage.
Syjuco, an associate professor at UC Berkeley, works in photography, sculpture, and installation, moving from handmade and craft-inspired media to digital editing and archive excavations. Recently, she has focused on how photography and image-based processes are implicated in the construction of racialized, exclusionary narratives of history and citizenship.