In my work I act as dual roles - one is the murderer and the other is the healer. As a murderer, I cut up images to destroy their meaning and purpose. As a healer, I re-contextualize those dismembered pieces together to give them new life to live again. All works are rooted in my memory, cultural background, and trauma. My work across painting, sculpture, collage, video, and performance investigates how my experience connects with broader social issues and the female gaze of social justice.
In my childhood, I experienced an economic boom and crisis. After the crisis many people lost motivation, dreams, and direction. This experience has impacted me to think about everything from opposite perspectives and particularly focus on duality. I reflect this duality in my collage-painting works as celebration/depression, pain/pleasure, and structure/destruction by using geometric shapes, disaster images and diverse materials such as golden studs, fabric, and gold leaf on wooden panels or canvas. For example, the piece called “Peeping Tom”, at first glance is a geometric-structured painting, but when you look closely, you will find the woman’s face on top of the shiny curtain. If you open the curtain, you will discover the naked breasts of the woman. I developed the idea for this work from “chikan"(sexual harasser) culture in Japan. Sexual harassment often happens in rush hour commuter trains between high school girls and chikan businessmen. This piece highlights the hidden dark side of established society that on the surface appears to be wholesome.
In my current paintings, I focus on human trafficking. The genesis of this topic came from my hypnotherapy. During the session, I saw the image of my previous life. I was about 10 and born in a poor farmer’s village. One day a war broke out and the village was destroyed. I
was not sure if my parents passed away, but I began traveling alone toward a nearby town. Then I met a guy who told me to come with him and that someone would give me food. I walked with him and arrived at a place that was a Geisha house where I was forced to work.
Since this experience, I started to feel more stronger bond with Geisha, human trafficking, and socially ignored women. For the process of making the painting, I digitally cut and break apart Kimono parts from many different Ukiyo-e (Japanese classic wood prints) and combine them together to make ghost-like organic shapes which I paint. The patterns of flowers, geometric shapes, and chain motif are used as symbols for the duality of murderer/healer.
Kamiya was born in Nagoya, Japan and moved to New York where she received her second MFA at School of Visual Arts. She has exhibited worldwide including; at Van Der Plas Gallery in New York, Oculus Westfield World Trade Center, Carrie Able Galley in Brooklyn, Puffin Cultural Foundation in New Jersey, Prospect Gallery in Australia, Dumbo Arts Festival in Brooklyn, the 14th Media Art Biennale in Poland, and Pärnu International Film & Video Festival in Estonia. Also, she awarded at Hudson Valley MOCA with her face mask and performed at Radiator Gallery in 2020.