US photo exhibit addresses identity issues

CCTV News

US photo exhibit addresses identity issues1

Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada says Americans often tell her she looks Korean or Chinese or a number of other East Asian ethnicities. The experience inspired her to open a new exhibit in Los Angeles, called “Facial Signature.”

CCTV America’s Patrice Howard reports.

US photo exhibit addresses identity issues

US photo exhibit addresses identity issues

Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada says Americans often tell her she looks Korean or Chinese or a number of other East Asian ethnicities. The experience inspired her to open a new exhibit in Los Angeles, called "Facial Signature." CCTV America's Patrice Howard reports.

Japanese visual artist Tomoko Sawada uses more than 100 wigs and a variety of makeup colors to transform herself over and over again in 300 unique self-portraits, a reminder that differences are only skin deep.

While living in New York years ago, Tomoko found that even in one of the most ethnically diverse urban environments, people tried to characterize her as being from somewhere, as someone different from them. With this exhibit, she is challenging those perceptions.

Rose Shoshana is showing Tomoko’s work in her Los Angeles gallery, and believes the statement this exhibit makes to celebrate differences is timely in America right now.

Science shows us, as humans, are more alike than we are different, and it seems this artist tapped into that. Tomoko says she did not plan to make a political or timely statement about celebrating people’s differences, but many who have stopped in to see her artwork say she is spreading an important message in America right now.