27 Jan Experiences of Identity
Detail of Mouths (Breaux’s Studio) © Priya Suresh Kambli
EXPERIENCES OF IDENTITY
PRIYA SURESH KAMBLI, VIKESH KAPOOR,
EMILY HANAKO MOMOHARA, & RAFAEL SOLDI
Drawing inspiration from family archives and personal experience,
four artists investigate how immigration has shaped their identity
February 18 – April 12, 2022
COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS CENTER
1070 BANNOCK ST, DENVER, CO 80204
Art exhibit viewing times: Tues. – Fri. (11 am – 5 pm); Sat. (noon – 4 pm)
PROGRAMMING & OPENING RECEPTION
Panel Discussion with Artists:
On Thursday, March 24th at 6:00 pm (MST) a Zoom panel discussion took place with all four artists. Samantha Johnston, CPAC Executive Director and Curator of the exhibition, moderated the conversation. A recording of the discussion can be viewed below.
Friday, February 25th between 6:00 and 9:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
ARTIST PANEL DISCUSSION
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Today, more than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born in another country. In Experiences of Identity, four artists utilize different photographic approaches to investigate how immigration has shaped who they are today. Using family archives and personal histories as source material, artists explore themes of home, memory, loss, and the myth of the American Dream.
Each artist harnesses the photographic medium in distinct ways.
Priya Suresh Kambli, who came to the U.S. from India at age 18, alters an archive of family photographs using powered pigments, natural light, and vivid colors to explore the fragmentation of family, identity, and culture in her series Buttons for Eyes.
Emily Hanako Momohara’s project Fruits of Labor explores her great-grandparents’ journey from a famine-entrenched Okinawa, Japan to a pineapple plantation in Hawaii, utilizing imagery of agriculture, video, and antique stereographs to unpack her personal and family story.
In Entre Hermanos, Rafael Soldi invites male-identifying queer Latinx immigrants to take self-portraits while considering how their perceptions of life in America have changed over time.
Finally, in his series See You at Home, Vikesh Kapoor juxtaposes photographs of his parents before they immigrated from India with contemporary photographs of their current life in rural Pennsylvania, exploring dichotomies of home and homeland, freedom and isolation, and collectivism and individualism.
Experiences of Identity brings these bodies of work together in a gallery for the first time.
In doing so, the exhibit invites us to reflect on the diverse experiences of immigrants in America and the role of photography as a means of self-expression and discovery.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Priya Suresh Kambli received her BFA at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and an MFA from the University of Houston. She is currently Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.
Kambli’s work inadvertently examines the question asked by her son Kavi at age three; did she belong to two different worlds, since she spoke two different languages? The essence of his question continues to be a driving force in her art making. In her work, Kambli has always strived to understand the formation and erasure of identity that is an inevitable part of the migrant experience, exploring the resulting fragmentation of family, identity, and culture.
Kambli’s artwork has been well received, having been exhibited, published, collected and reviewed in the national and international photographic community. She was the winner of the inaugural Creator Labs Photo Fund by Aperture and Google, and The Magenta Foundation’s Un-Stuck grant. She is also the winner of the 2021 Individual Artist Outstanding Artist by the Missouri Arts Council, the state’s highest honor in the arts. The success of Kambli’s work underlines the fact that she is engaged in an important dialogue, and reinforces her intent to make work driven by a growing awareness of the importance of many voices from diverse perspectives and the political relevance of our private struggles.
Vikesh Kapoor is a multidisciplinary artist from Sunset Pines, Pennsylvania, whose work examines race, class and identity as a first-generation American.
His ongoing photo-based narrative, See You At Home, has received support from curators at the National Portrait Gallery, SFMoMA, LACMA, Tate Modern, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Museum.
Kapoor received The Joan Hohlt and Roger Wich Emerging Photographer Scholarship from Houston Center for Photography in 2021, The Hopper Prize in 2020, the PhotoNola Review Grand Prize in 2019, a Lensculture Art Photography Juror’s Pick Award in 2018 and CENTER’s Project Development Grant in 2018.
In 2020, he received 2nd place for the PHmuseum Mobile Photography Prize. He was also a finalist for the Documentary Essay Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and a finalist for the Portrait Award presented by Head On Photo Festival.
In 2019, Kapoor was a semifinalist for the Outwin Boochever Award at National Portrait Gallery and shortlisted for the Grand Prix Images Vevey Award.
Kapoor’s first solo exhibitions for “See You at Home” will be on view at PhotoNOLA Festival (New Orleans) in December 2021, The Print Center (Philadelphia) in January 2022 and Filter Space (Chicago) in February 2022.
His photographs have been exhibited at Aperture Foundation, Houston Center for Photography, SFCamerawork, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Photo Vogue Festival, among other venues.
He was an artist-in-residence at Center of Photography at Woodstock in New York in 2019 and at Latitude Chicago in 2021.
Kapoor is currently working on a commission for Leica x British Journal of Photography on his mother’s career.
Emily Hanako Momohara was born in Seattle, Washington where she grew up in a mixed race family. Her work centers around issues of heritage multiculturalism, immigration and social justice.
Momohara has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Japanese American National Museum in a two-person show titled Sugar|Islands. She has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Headlands Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center and Red Gate Gallery Beijing. In 2015, her work was included in the Chongqing Photography and Video Biennial. Momohara has created socially driven billboards for For Freedoms and United Photo Industries. She lives and works in Cincinnati where she is Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and heads the photography major.
Rafael Soldi is a Peruvian-born, Seattle-based artist and curator. He holds a BFA in Photography & Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His practice centers on how queerness and masculinity intersect with larger topics of our time such as immigration, memory, and loss. He has exhibited internationally at the Frye Art Museum, American University Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, ClampArt, The Print Center, Museo MATE, Filter Space, and Burrard Arts Foundation, among others. Rafael has received grants and awards from the Magenta Foundation, Puffin Foundation, smART Ventures, Artist Trust, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and Center Santa Fe. He has been awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, PICTURE BERLIN, Oxbow Space, and the Bogliasco Foundation.
His first monograph, Imagined Futures / Futuros Imaginarios (Candor Arts), and CARGAMONTÓN (self-published), were both published in 2020.
His work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, King County Public Art Collection, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Rafael’s work has been reviewed on ARTFORUM, The Seattle Times, The Boston Globe, Photograph Magazine, The Seen, Art Nexus, and PDN. He is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, a project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists; and co-curator of the High Wall, a yearly outdoor video projection program that invites immigrant artists and artists working on themes of diaspora and borderlands to intervene the facade of a former immigration center building in the heart of Seattle.