"Real Fairytale" Collaborated with LuLu Meng                                    at GALLERY MoMo Projects 2019 Tokyo

"Real Fairytale" Collaborated                                                 with LuLu Meng at Spring Break(Residency Unlimited)2019 NY

Press release by Residency Unlimited/

Real Fairy Tale looks at the impact of Disney’s animated fairy tales films on how women in Asia view themselves or are looked upon, through the lens of two women artists who grew up in Japan and Taiwan. This gendered phenomenon is set against the historical backdrop of WW2 and the Japanese defeat which led to major US and Western European interventions in East Asia. Such globalization led to the introduction of Western fairy tales, and their animated versions with its cultural symbolism became immensely popular in mainstream culture.

Naomi Okubo and Lulu Meng moved to New York as working artists. When they met, they realized that they shared similar experiences growing up watching these Disney films. Expectations on how they should look and behave as young women were directly modeled on the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty figures with their pale skin and big round eyes standards of beauty. Ironically, Meng and Okubo displayed boyish qualities at an early age and were told that they were not “girly enough”. They recall being confused when asked to act “like a princess, marry a prince and live happily after”. At a later stage, they realized that they had been aware all along that fairy tales are not "real". However it was difficult to shirk aside the social and self-determined pressures on how women should behave that was intrinsically associated to these “stories”.

This is the backbone of Real Fairy Tale. An assertion of self-awareness where two very distinct bodies of work enter into dialogue over shared experience, and then transitions from the personal level to broader societal issues relating to female identity, stereotyped gender and how social norms are generally perceived.

"Piles of the Surface" ELSA ART GALLERY, Taipei Taiwan, January 2018

Emerging Artist Project at Official Residence of Japanese Ambassador in NYC. May 2017.

In Organic:Emerging Japanese Artist in New York

This exhibition introduce emerging artist from Japan whoa are making their marks in their adopted city of New York, the center of the international art world. In each of their chosen mediums, they present divergent, yet correlating, approaches toward the world consisting of both organic and inorganic materials. Some explore the man-made environment as subject and other reflect upon nature. At first glance, they seem to be contrasting attitudes, but all of the featured artists work with a strong awareness that are key aspect of our 21-cnetury reality.

 

Naomi Okubo: Depicts imagined spaces that are imbued with intimacy and artificiality. The figures recurring in her paintings are eerily unidentified, except for her clothing that overtly accentuates her femininity through colors and floral patterns. As if pulled from theater sets or pages of shopping catalogues, the image of the interior- the world these women inhabit- poses a question of one's identity as both real and artificial. Her love of floral motifs abounds in the work, and Okubo's literally covers herself with patterns and motifs that both camouflage her identity, just as they heighten and compose. 

Co-curators Eric Shiner and Miwako Tezuka

Short Video by FCI (in Japanese)

 

An article by Nippon Keizai Newspaper (in Japanese)

"THIS IS NOT MY LIFE"  Jan. 16-Feb.13, 2016  GALLERY MoMo Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan

Where should I go? Oct 25-Nov 25, 2014 Hamnmagasinet, Varberg, Sweden

Photo by Lars Danielsson

Have a Party Forever/いつまでもパーティーを  Oct 12- Nov 9, 2013 Gallery MoMo Ryogoku

photo by Ryuhei Sugita

It Seems Like a Dream / それはあたかも夢のように見える                            Oct 22-Nov19,2011 GALLERY MoMo Roppongi