What Is and What Can Be: Women of Color and the Struggle for Justice in Cincinnati
Women of color provide important leadership in the city of Cincinnati, working in all sectors and volunteering their time for a better Cincinnati. Yet, as a group, they also face a multitude of challenges, including an alarmingly high poverty rate, elevated rates of health problems, and other inequities. Drawing on community-partnered research coordinated by The Cincinnati Project at the University of Cincinnati, this exhibition centers the voices and experiences of women of color in Cincinnati, sharing their visions of and hopes for the future.
UPCOMING For Fotofocus: September 28
Fruits of Labor
Artist Emily Hanako Momohara investigates themes of immigration, identity, and labor within the framework of her own family narrative, from a famine entrenched Okinawa, Japan to Hawaii’s mainland America. It was in Hawaii where her great-grandparents worked on a plantation, grooming and harvesting 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. While pineapples from the Hawaiian Islands were shipped to the mainland 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 one 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.