Humid Nostalgia is a series of paintings inspired by my childhood summers spent at my grandma’s home in Kanazawa, Japan as a mixed race Japanese-American person. Kanazawa, a small city located in the North West countryside, is unique because while modernized, it holds many remnants of pre-westernized times. It’s far enough from Tokyo and other major cities that foreigners were rare, leaving me the only mixed race child In the classroom or playground. I was constantly reminded of my “otherness” when in Japan despite a deep connection to culture and traditions, leaving me feeling similarly foreign when home in the U.S.
Humid Nostalgia highlights the juxtaposition of cultural identity I felt as youth, while also exploring a sense of urgency to stay connected to my Japanese upbringing. The household objects and references to summer heat and festivities sprinkled throughout the body of work are items that trigger memories of my childhood, and as I continue to use them today, keep me connected to my Japanese roots.