AAWAA ARTIST PROFILE
Born in Japan and raised in San Francisco Bay Area, Miki Fujiwara is known to be one of the original members of the New York Tributary Art Movement. The majority of her work, mostly paintings, has been categorized as "Cultural Surrealism," often said to be in the "tradition of Frida Kahlo." Miki Fujiwara's works have traces of her political beliefs and her own cultural bridges.
In 1999 she founded AlterAsian (1999 to 2007 - no longer in publication): an alternative Asian-American web magazine which in 2000 was chosen as one of "Top 20 Asian-American Websites that Stand Out From the Crowd" by A-magazine: Inside Asian-America.
In 2003, she was one of the original members of The Federation of East Village Artists (FEVA). FEVA promotes opportunities for artists today while honoring the work of legendary community members by working collectively with local artists, arts organizations, business owners, community groups, and the public. Their signature activity is the annual HOWL! Festival of East Village Arts, which celebrates the neighborhood's role as the cradle of counterculture.
In 2005, she co-founded the New York Tributary Art Movement with 3 other New York City Artists. NY Tributary is an art movement that brings together various artistic disciplines by concentrating on the process and the message of the art work. The NY Tributary also works to bring art to the "mainstream" by their street based performances, activities, and showings.
In 2006, she founded the Project: 2020 Suzie Wong which attempts to bring awareness and social change through art. Project: 2020 uses the novel/film character "Suzie Wong" from The World of Suzie Wong as a symbol of historical and current racism and discrimination against Asian women in the western world and attempts to change the image of Asian women within mainstream America.
Miki Fujiwara currently splits her time between San Francisco and NYC and is busy raising her 8 year old son.
Living in a society where few of us can be ourselves, or we suffer abuse from the PC Police (...that's Politically Correct Police, AKA, "fake/wannabe" liberals with guilt) and/or conservative fundamentalists, it is a constant struggle to be myself without being labeled something that I am not.
I find that painting is an effective way of getting my point across, yet causes far less hostile and abusive responses. People expect Artists to tell the truth, but do not of average folks. Controversial topics are often taboo at the dinner table, yet uncontroversial art is considered boring. A controversial artist is considered to have an edge, a controversial guy next door is to be avoided. Painting to me was the perfect way to bring two things that are most important in my life: My love for visual arts and my involvement in community activism.
My paintings tell a story, not only the typical story against injustice (which many expect as a woman of color) as I cannot simply become a martyr or romanticize and glorify my sufferings. I take it a step further and deeply scrutinize myself as well as others and call them on their deficiencies.
I mostly paint digitally using my Wacom tablet on Corel Painter. Corel Painter is an awesome software which mimics the traditional painting experience. I recommend it to anyone who is making the switch from traditional to digital environment like I have.
When I'm not using my Wacom tablet and Corel Painter, I like painting in acrylic/oil or pounding things out of clay.