A public garden & cultural center

Tomie Arai

Winter Workspace | January 2 - February 12, 2018

Pictured Above: Tomie Arai in her Winter Workspace studio

Tomie Arai is a visual artist whose work examines themes of displacement and cultural equity. Through the use of family stories, shared memories, and archival photographs, she constructs pages of 'living history' that reflect the layered and complex narratives that give meaning to the places we live in. Arai uses public art, prints and installations are ways for me to use the cultural specificity of her experience as an Asian American. These visual narratives explore the relationship between memory, art, and history and provide a sense of connection to the world for the artist.

During the Winter Workspace, Arai planned new research-based, site-specific work that addresses local histories. The research included the indigenous Lenape Indians and their forced removal from their homeland as well as an exploration of the history of Wave Hill and the Bronx.

Arai is a founding member of the newly formed Chinatown Art Brigade – a group that works closely with tenant’s rights groups in Lower Manhattan to create large-scale digital and video images that have been projected onto the sides of tenements in NY Chinatown. Arai has also exhibited work here at Wave Hill in Transplant-Transculture in 2006.

Tomie Arai working on a mural in Harlem. Courtesy of the artist.


Learn more about the artist here

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.