Body of Work: Rea Tajiri
Body of Work: Rea Tajiri
Rea Tajiri is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who grew up in Chicago, Illinois. After her family relocated to Los Angeles, Tajiri earned her BFA and MFA in Post-Studio Art from the California Institute of the Arts. Poetic, subtly layered and politically engaged, her work advances the exploration of forgotten histories, multi-generational memory, landscape and the Japanese American experience. She is a recipient of a 2020 Leeway Transformation Award and a current recipient of an Independence Public Media Foundation Projects grant. Prior to this, she has received support from a Pew Artist Fellowship, a Rockefeller Intercultural Media Fellowship, an NEA Visual Arts Fellowship as well as grants from ITVS, the New York Foundation for the Arts, NYSCA and a Temple University VP Arts Award. In 2019, Tajiri received a Fogo Island Arts Residency and in 2018 a residency at Banff Center for the Arts. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Film Media Arts Department at Temple University where she teaches documentary production.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 7:00 PM
Little Murders (USA, 1998, 20 min)
A darkly comic musical about the mystery of death, communication of spirits, and the redemption that comes from knowing the truth. A violent father returns to earth as a ghost and wanders the streets searching for clues to the cause of his death through his daughter, an L.A.P.D. homicide detective.
Off Limits (USA, 1988, 8 min)
Tajiri interweaves the endings of two films, Off Limits, a 1988 cop movie set in Vietnam, and Easy Rider, an iconic 1969 film revealing the hopelessness of the “American dream”. Through the layering of text and audio-visual imagery from these films, Tajiri rewrites the narrative of a Vietnamese character who was featured in the background of Off Limits. The culminating effect simultaneously examines the portrayal of Vietnam within American cinema and centers the often overlooked history and perspective of the Asian-American experience.
History and Memory:
For Akiko and Takashige (USA, 1991, 32 min)
Groundbreaking and haunting, this film is a poetic composition of recorded history and non-recorded memory. History and Memory looks at the experience of the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in U.S. Concentration Camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tajiri wanted to address the phenomena of repressed memory shrouded in silence and forgetting that occurs amongst victims of trauma.