My work creates an uneasy environment that embodies my love-hate relationship with consumerism and pop culture and how they simultaneously perpetuate both ecstasy and extreme anxiety in quotidian life. In my videos, I act as an undercover agent trying to expose the absurdities of a manipulative social structure while at the same time humorously struggling and reveling in it as a participant. My process includes performance. I often create characters that function as avatars that act out responses to contemporary society, addressing the social, cultural, and personal. I induce intimate situations between my created personalities and the audience by staging my videos within installations that are pushed to exaggerated and imaginative levels. My videos and installations infiltrate the psychological and physical space of the viewer, giving form to a sort of vulnerability – a nervous laughter. People often ask, “Why are you so happy all of the time?” and my response is “It’s better than crying.” Ultimately, in my work I would like to continue the exploration of humor as a complicated intersection where hope, happiness, anxiety, and darkness reside much like our society, a tension-filled existence of both criticality and complacency.
YOSHIE SAKAI lives and works in Los Angeles, California Born in Torrance, California. 1994: BA in Communication Studies/Ancient Greek & Latin from UCLA. 2004: BFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University, Long Beach. 2009: MFA in Painting and Video Installation from Claremont Graduate University. Yoshie is a multidisciplinary artist (video, sculpture, and installation) whose work creates an uneasy environment that embodies her love-hate relationship with pop culture, as she uses humor to tackle anxiety about defining herself positively within the idealistic world created by the mass media. More recently, her work challenges the myth of the “model minority” to reveal the complexities that lie underneath the guise of superficial “perfection” of being both Asian-American and a woman in society. Yoshie is a recipient of the 2012 California Community Foundation for Visual Artists Emerging Artist Fellowship. Her work has been shown throughout the United States in film festivals and art exhibitions from Los Angeles to Miami, as well as internationally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Victoria, BC, Canada.
Los Angeles, CA