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Emily Momohara: Fruits of Labor

September 28, 2018November 15, 2018

Artist Emily Hanako Momohara investigates themes of immigration, identity, and labor within the framework of her own family narrative: from a famine entrenched Okinawa, Japan to Hawaii’s mainland America. In Hawaii, her great-grandparents worked on a pineapple plantation. They toiled through the day, grooming and harvesting the fields, at times with a child wrapped to their backs. Eventually, they were able to build their own three-room house. It was within the confines of those three rooms where the family of 11 grew, struggled, and thrived. While pineapples from the Hawaiian Islands were shipped to the mainland as luxury items, this exotic fruit is symbolic for the complex geographic and social paths her family has taken from immigrant farm work to consumers of luxury goods. Using imagery of agriculture and migration to unpack her personal and family story, Momohara allows one to critically reflect on the diverse experiences of immigrants in America.

  • Emily Hanako Momohara, Golden Trowel, 2018. Archival Pigment Print, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist

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