Tomoko Negishi

Click on images to see a large version.

Reminder. “West Never Meets East”
Reminder, C Print. Installation, 2000.
View Over Guilin
“Language #2 (Your Attitude Test)”, Xerox transfered sign, 2000.
Language #2
“Generations” , Wood and 3 types of rice bags, 2000
“West Never Meets East”, Installation, Mixed Media, 2000

I came to the States in 1985 to study Applied Psychology. By meeting many inspiring journalism major friends on campus in my first year in college, I changed my mind to pursue Journalism and Mass Communication.

Later, I faced an unbreakable language barrier on writing journal in English as a Japanese native. A classmate suggested me to take a photojournalism course just for a break from the frustration from the use of language. What I discovered from photojournalism was wonderful! I found a visual language that I can communicate with anybody without formal language.

That was the beginning of my serious photography experience. I ended up going to a photography department at the Art Institute of Boston. During the four years at the Art Institute, of course I was influenced by the power of photography in art form. Life in New England stimulated myself to be aware of my Japanese and Asian heritage The surrounding environment was that unless I educate people, they would not know real Asian culture (except for some stereotyped, or mainstream Asian culture!). Because of that, my main focus in my art has been cultural identity. The theme “cultural identity” could be said an ‘over done’ theme. However, I believe that those people who deeply explore their own culture can create a strong cultural foundation themselves. This foundation would make those people steady no matter where they are. They no longer have to experience cultural loss, which is very common in this contemporary society.