My journey of self-discovery has been centered on my Japanese American heritage. My artwork is an inherent part of my process. It has led me to the lands of my ancestors and revealed the rich culture and history which has been imprinted on my being. With a sensitive heart, an artist’s eye and a determined interest in passing on stories of my Japanese American upbringing to the next generations, I encapsulate snippets of the ordinary and not so ordinary in installations, video, performances, fused glass, and handmade books. This documentation helps preserve these Japanese and American experiences as each subsequent generation becomes further removed from their ancestral roots. My multimedia interdisciplinary technique of expressing myself inspires me to creatively share stories, which go beyond the personal and touch the universal of who we are and from where we came. My glass ancestral kimonos and their documentation are integral pieces of my art as life. They led me on a journey to Japan, where I connected with relatives and experienced our common heritage. The kimonos have also strengthened the bond with my daughter as we perform together, each wearing our ancestral kimonos, celebrating the connection of one generation to the next.
Reiko Fujii was born in Riverside, California. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from John F. Kennedy University in 2004. She also earned a K-8 Elementary School Teaching Credential and a BA in Psychology, both from University of California, Berkeley. Presently, Reiko’s art “My Daughter’s Glass Ancestral Kimono” is in the “Our American Stories” exhibit at the Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery, City College of San Francisco until September 2014. She was one of the four featured Sansei (third generation) Japanese American women artists in the seminal exhibit “Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience" during August- September of 2010, at the John F. Kennedy University Art Gallery. Other exhibits include two multi-media performances, one sponsored by the Riverside Metropolitan Museum in 2007 and, in 2009, an invitation to perform at the Riverside Mayor’s Office’s Racial Equality Week. Also in 2009, she and her daughter were invited to wear her Glass Ancestral Kimonos as the “Featured Artist” at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. She has exhibited at the Berkeley Art Center, the Bedford Gallery (Walnut Creek), di Rosa Preserve (Napa), Olive Hyde Gallery (Fremont), JFK University Art Gallery, the Sun Gallery (Hayward), Cal State Hayward Art Gallery, and SOMAarts in San Francisco. She was the recipient of the “Susan Seddon Boulet Award” from JFK University in 2004, received the “Steven P. Corey Award” at the 2006 PCBA Bookworks Exhibit, and also received several awards for her glass art at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. Her “Scrolling Book” is included with instructions in Eco Books by Larks Press, copyright 2009. Her Grandma, the Ultimate Recycler handmade book is part of the Special Collections of the Olin Library, Mills College, Oakland, CA.! Her short documentaries have been shown at the “Women of Color” Film Festival (Berkeley), the Berkeley Small Films Festival, and the “Society of California Pioneers” (San Francisco). Her nine minute documentary, “Arden Farey: Whistlebower” was featured as “The Video of the Week” on KarmaTube during the first week of January 2009. Her half-hour documentary about Arden Farey, a talented artist who suffered from MS and was a paraplegic, was shown on v!arious cable TV stations in the Bay Area in 2008.
2014, “Our American Stories,” (invitational) group show featuring the work of fifteen Asian American artists, Madeleine Haas Russell Gallery, City College of San Francisco, CA 2013, “underCurrents & the Quest for Space,” group show featuring the work of thirty Asian American Women artists, SoMarts Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2012, “WONDER,” Members’ Exhibit, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA 2012, “Art as Liminal Space: Threshold of Transformation,” Alumni Exhibition, John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA 2012, “It’s Personal! Tales Visualized by Asian American Women,” group show featuring seven women artists, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA 2011, Pacific Center for the Book Arts Members’ Exhibition, ”Bookworks 2011,” San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA 2010, “Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience” group show featuring four Sansei women artists, John F. Kennedy University Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA 2010, “Glass Kimono” and “The Farm” documentary presentation, Heritage Estates, Livermore, CA 2009, ”Red” Member’s Exhibition, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA ￼2009, “Reading the Walls, the Inaba Story” multimedia performance, Mayor’s Office, Riverside, CA 2009, “Scrolling Book” design and instructions published in Eco Books, Larks Press Publishing Co. 2009, “Glass Fashion Show Extravaganza”, GAS Conference, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY 2009, “Arden Farey, Whistleblower”, Karma Tube’s Video of the Week for first week of January! 2008, Arden Farey” half hour TV program directed, edited and videotaped by Reiko Fujii, Able Cable TV Productions, “ Sunnyvale, CA 2008, John F. Kennedy University, Open House, Artist’s Presentation, Berkeley, CA 2007, “Cutting Edge Books“, CSU Hayward, CA. (Juried)! 2007, Riverside Metropolitan Museum, “Reading the Walls“, Riverside, CA. Showing of documentary video “The Farm” directed and produced by Reiko Fujii. “The Egg House Wall” performed by Reiko Fujii 2007, Berkeley Art Center’s “International Small Films Festival”, Berkeley, CA. (Juried) Showing of documentary “Recycle Ryoan-ji” directed by Reiko Fujii 2007, Women of Color Film Festival, Berkeley, CA (Juried). Acceptance of two short films directed and produced by Reiko Fujii: “The Farm” and “The Glass Kimono” 2006, Society of California Pioneers Museum, debut showing of “The Legacy of a Pioneer Family in California,” A video documentary co-directed and produced by Reiko Fujii! 2006, Pacific Center for the Book Arts Members’ Exhibition, “Book Works,” San Francisco Public L!ibrary, San Francisco, CA 2006, John F. Kennedy University Alumni Exhibition (Juried), Berkeley, CA 2005, “Our Ancestors” (Juried), Sun Gallery, Hayward, CA.! 2005, di Rosa Preserve Members’ Show, “All in the Family IV” (Juried), di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA 2004, MFA Graduate Exhibition, “A Sparkle on the Ancestral Sea of Time”, John F. Kennedy University Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA 2004, Department of Arts and Consciousness Graduate Exhibition, John F. Kennedy University Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA 2003, Pacific Center for Book Arts Members’ Exhibition, “BookWorks”, San Francisco, CA.! 2002, 34th Annual Textile Exhibit (Juried), Olive Hyde Gallery, Fremont, CA 2002, California Glass Exchange, “Wearable Art Glass Fashion Show,” San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 2002, California Glass Exchange (Juried), “One Week of Glass”, Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Fremont CA 2002, Fine Art & Design Student Show (Juried), Ohlone College, Fremont CA 2000, Student Fine Art & Design Show (Juried), Ohlone College, Fremont, CA 2000, Hayward Arts Council, “Glass, Glass, Glass” (Invitational), Hayward, CA 1999, Student Fine & Graphic Arts Show (Juried), Ohlone College, Fremont, CA 1998, “Fragility and Strength” (Solo Show), John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA 1998, Student Annual Fine & Graphic Arts Show (Juried), Ohlone College, Fremont CA 1994, Way of the Doll School of Sacred Art, “The Nameless: Our True Archetype and Home”, Emeryville, CA 1993, Way of the Doll School of Sacred Art, “Through the Unknown, Remembered Gate”, Emeryville, CA
San Francisco Bay Area