The March 2012 exhibition of Now.Here.This. features Hidemi Takagi. Takagi created photographs and videos of Washington Heights, New York as a fictional promotional campaign. Since leaving Kyoto, Japan in 1997, she has been translating her personal vision of New York City into photographs and videos. The candy-colored, saturated playground of images that she creates is what she has been imagining New York would look like since she was a child, having grown up with American television from the 1950s and 60s in Japan. Despite the reality of the at times gritty city, her art work has allowed her to preserve her memories of her imagined America and explore the melting pot that is her new home. Having spent the majority of her time in the borough of Brooklyn, her move to Washington Heights in 2010 felt like moving across the world again, even though it was still within the same city.
“Washington Heights is so culturally diversified, with a mix of Jewish, Russian, and other Eastern European residents. However, the Dominican residents are an especially interesting culture to me. Walking down the street is exciting, seeing the residents congregating at street corners, playing dominos and other group activities. People seem to be celebrating their own cultures everyday– listening to merengue music, vendors selling fruits, rice & beans, and shaved ice in colorful handmade pushcarts to a rush of customers. Living in Washington Heights feels like visiting my imaginary Dominican Republic.”
Hidemi Takagi was born in Kyoto, Japan and currently lives in New York City. She has recently exhibited at The Bronx Museum (Bronx, NY), The Dollinger Art Project (Tel Aviv, Israel), Flaere Gallery (London, UK), Hudson Guild Gallery (New York, NY), Longwood Art Gallery (Bronx, NY), BAC Gallery at Brooklyn Arts Council (Brooklyn, NY), Dumbo Arts Center (Brooklyn, NY), and White Columns (New York, NY). She participated in the AIM program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2003 and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space in 2010. Her work has been reviewed in Time Out Tel Aviv, Time Out New York, The New York Times and The Village Voice. Her project, Blender, was published in The New York Art Foundation’s magazine, Current, in 2008, and was exhibited for the Times Square Public Arts Alliance in 2011.