IDENTITIES is a photography installation project (Portraits + Interview) started with my family’s identities during the pandemic—and a project I want to expand to contribute to an international discourse on mixed-race identities at this key anti-racist time. My daughter, who is half Haitian American and half Japanese American, was born and is growing up in New York City. I was born in Japan and came to New York City in 1997. My husband was born in Haiti and grew up in Brooklyn. In New York, we have let go of some aspects of our original cultures, and at the same time, we have not sought much to assimilate. Through the process of creating IDENTITIES, I search to visualize our roots and the cultural tendrils that have grown and intertwined from them and address the issues of mixed-race identity, racism, and immigration in America and other countries. I seek to envision deep roots and explore issues of mixed-race identities as they manifest in neighborhoods in New York, and other cities that contain diverse racial intersections. I have been focusing on working with the biracial/multiracial teen subjects. I choose to work with this age group because teens today are more politically engaged than ever before. They are also our future. I had worked with kids who lived in New York, New Jersey, Miami, Minnesota and Tokyo & Yokohama, Japan so far.

Nowadays, we often see mixed-race people in magazines, TV, and ads on streaming services and on billboards, and such looks are becoming mainstream in fashion/music industries. But biracial/multiracial people are still a minority with complex public and internal pressures concerning self-presentations; they often are not encouraged to embrace the duality of their heritage. Americans tend to divide, separate, segregate and categorize people based primarily on the color of skin. Through my art exhibitions and related events, I want to stir discussion and break the silence about mixed-race lives.