Hua Xi Zi works and thinks about light and the experience of seeing – in exploring the flowing life and one’s relation with outside systems. From celluloid film, analogue video signal to digital video processing, screen-based and optical projections, installed and performed, Xi Zi questions the existing methods of shadow-image production by experimenting alternative ways to “un-expose.” Her practice and research turned into the materiality while asking questions about spectatorship and participation – seeking for the tenderness that withholds freedom and forgiveness.
.Xi Zi’s recent installations exhibited at the 2019 Setouchi Triennale in Japan, 2019 New Blood Performance Festival in Chicago; other film works showcased at festivals such as 2018 Slamdance Film Festival, 2018 Seattle Asian American Film Festival and others.
Jennifer Chen-su Huang • 黃謙恕
Jennifer Chen-su Huang is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer whose process-driven works interweave elements of craft tradition, language, history, and memoir. In 2017-2018, she completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Taiwan, where she was a Research Fellow with the Ethnology Department at National Chengchi University, as well as a Visiting Artist at Tainan National University of the Arts. She graduated with her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2018, she presented her research at the Textile Society of America's biennial symposium and was selected for the New Professional Award. Huang has exhibited internationally at Haiton Art Center in Taipei and across the United States at Untitled Prints and Editions in Los Angeles, Kearny St. Workshop in San Francisco, and Gallery 400 in Chicago, among others.
Taro Takizawa is an artist who focuses on printmaking, wall vinyl installations, drawings and 2D designs. Born in Japan, he has been making images connecting what he has experienced in Japan where he grew up and, in the U.S. since he moved here in 2002 and currently resides. His works contains both western and eastern aesthetics with appreciation of traditional printmaking processes and mark making. He is fascinated with blending the boundaries of contemporary studio practice and traditional processes, printmaking and installations, influenced by traditional Japanese patterns from textile designs, architecture and crafts.
He received with his BFA with a printmaking emphasis from Central Michigan University in 2011, and MFA in printmaking from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts in 2017. While working on his master’s degree, Takizawa has participated in multiple short residencies and exhibitions such as Chautauqua Institution School of Art, its student exhibition at Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, PARADOX European Fine Art Forum and its exhibition at CK Zamek in Poznan, Poland; and ArtPrize 10 at Grand Rapids Public Museum. And recently participated in Haystack Art School Collaborative conference in Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine and Syracuse University Turner Semester in LA, Los Angeles, CA, and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts in Ithaca, NY.
Kiyomi Negi is a second generation Japanese/Chinese American illustrator and multidisciplinary designer born and raised in Chicago. She has over 10 years of experience working as a creative consultant for a wide range of industries, specializing in graphic design, visual storytelling, branding, and illustration. In her personal work, She often draws inspiration from her heritage in her work, featuring pop, comical drawings reminiscent of mangas she grew up reading or incorporating bold, modern graphics unique to Japanese design. As a bilingual and bicultural Chicago native, Kiyomi enjoys blending (Mid)Western aesthetics with Eastern sensibility to explore the stark differences found between American and Japanese design trends.
Kiyomi is also an established Japanese drummer at Tsukasa Taiko, the largest taiko ensemble in the Midwest. She currently leads the active Gintenkai premier performance unit, completing an average of 70 shows a year including an annual concert at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Kiyomi also serves as the resident creative director at AIRMW, often producing the brand for the organization's multiple arts initiatives including the 2019 and 2020 Chicago Obihiro Exchange Project: 思考回路 Shikoukairo: Patterns of Thought.
Kioto is an artist and educator using the material specificity of the analogue image and image-making process to explore modes of perception as a politics of vision. Her photographic work oscillates between the still and the moving image, attentive to the apparatus of the human eye and the camera; while installation and artist book works engage mechanisms of structural tangibility and site-specificity. Forming a rhetoric of nuanced quietude, Kioto considers the intimacies of vision through the experience of sight.
Kioto is also a performing artist specializing in Japanese traditional music, playing taiko, tsuzumi, and shamisen. She is a descendant of the Toyoakimoto performing arts family with roots dating back to the Edo period. She has been performing on stage since the age of 7 and is carrying on the lineage as part of a traditional Japanese performing arts family. Kioto leads Asian Improv aRts Midwest's (AIRMW) Tsukasa Taiko Gintenkai Performance Unit with Kiyomi Negi and is Curatorial Manager for AIRMW's Incubation Program and for the Chicago Obihiro Exhibition.