Reverb Art + Design


Envision a space for freedom of art and exploration


UPCOMING For Fotofocus: September 28
Fruits of Labor

Join Reverb Art + Design for Fruits of Labor, part of FotoFocus Biennial 2018: Open Archive. Artist Emily Hanako Momohara investigates themes of immigration, identity, and labor within the framework of her own family narrative. Her great-grandparents left a famine entrenched Okinawa, Japan for Hawaii, USA. In Hawaii her great-grandparents worked on a plantation where they groomed and harvested pineapple fields. They toiled through the day, sometimes with a child wrapped to their backs, and eventually were able to build their own, small, three-room house. It was within the confines of those three rooms where the family of 11 lived, grew, struggled and thrived. 

Pineapples from the Hawaiian Islands were shipped to the mainland U.S. as luxury items, this exotic fruit is symbolic for the complex path her family has taken from immigrant labor to the consumers of luxury goods. Using imagery of agriculture and migration to unpack her personal and family story, Momohara allows us to critically reflect on the diverse experience of immigrants in America.

About the Artist

Momohara grew up near Seattle, Washington and earned her BFA in Photography and her BA in Art History from the University of Washington. She went on to receive her MFA in Expanded Media from the University of Kansas. She is Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati where she heads the photography major.

Momohara has exhibited nationally, most notably in a 2-person show at the Japanese American National Museum. She has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Headlands Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center and Red Gate Gallery Beijing. She received a 2011 Ohio Arts Council Excellence Grant. In 2015, her work was included in the Chongqing Photography and Video Biennial.


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