“Foreigner”, or “エトランゼ || stranger”, is both a self-portrait and a simple representation of people with no cultural ‘home’ to return to, the torn and displaced people who are foreigners no matter where they go. This piece specifically speaks to mixed-race and second and third-generation immigrants who have lived their whole life feeling out of place, and have visited the country of their origin only to feel entirely alien there as well. The single incorrect story that this piece fights is not entirely one that society forces upon people, but rather one that I have struggled with internally for a long time, and that I’m sure others have felt as well. We are not bound to a single home. We shouldn’t feel inferior because we are only half of a race or a culture. We have all the right to claim our identity and our culture no matter how we speak, how we act, how we look.
This portrait shows a girl in a traditional muji kimono with the rising sun behind her, stylized as it is on the Japanese flag. Half of her face is bare and the other is painted with maiko makeup, the boundary between the sides cracked and filled by kintsugi, representing healing and overcoming battles with stereotypes and alienation from both identities.
This piece is about the untold story of Native Americans. It shows a Native woman surrounded by offensive art that depicts her in a negative way. Natives are commonly seen as savages, non-human, extinct, or just a symbol to represent a sports team. Also, their story is hardly taught in school, perpetuating this line of horrible racism. I think more information needs to be spread about how terrible Natives were/are treated, and just how beautiful their culture is.