Artist Talk: Emily Hanako Momohara
Date: Thursday May 30, 6:30pm
Tickets: $10 (suggested donation)
This program is presented with support from the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
Photo Center is proud to welcome photographic artist and filmmaker Emily Hanako Momohara to an artist talk at Photo Center NW. Momohara will be spending the month of June working in and around Seattle (and at PCNW) on a new documentary film about a woman named May Namba whose life has chronicled many of life’s hardest and cherished aspects: war, incarceration, freedom, discrimination, love, family, generosity, patriotism and perseverance. May was born in 1922 to an immigrant couple from Japan. She grew up in Seattle and took a job after high school with the Seattle School District as a clerk. In 1942, she was forced to resign by the school district because of a parental out-cry against Japanese American women working with the children. The fear was that one of the clerks might poison the students. Shortly after, she was sent to Minidoka, an incarceration camp in Idaho.
As part of her presentation, Momohara will discuss her other photography projects: Islands, Koden and Desert Sands. Intrigued by collective memory and its relationship to the imagination, her images combine the real and fictional to create places that explore myth and belonging. As in her documentary film, Momohara deals with issues of loss and legacy. Eerily beautiful and strangely quiet, Momohara’s photographs convey at once the idea of obscurity and the quest for information.
Emily Hanako Momohara grew up near Seattle, Washington and earned her BFA in Photography and her BA in Art History from the University of Washington. She worked at PCNW from 1997-2003. Momohara went on to receive her MFA in Expanded Media from the University of Kansas, where she studied under Roger Shimomura. She has been a Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where she headed the photography major since 2006. Recently Momohara is working full-time in her studio on a new film project and and her fine art work.
Momohara has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Light Factory called Photographer as Videographer with Artists: Mary Ellen Mark, Sara Moon and others. She has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Fine Arts Work Center and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Momohara has spoken at several national conferences such as the 2010 Mixed Race Critical Studies Conference, 2012 Asian American Studies Confernence and at the 2013 National Society for Photographic Education Conference. She received a 2011 Ohio Arts Council Excellence Grant and lives in Cincinnati.