Yoshie Sakai

Yoshie SakaiArtist’s Statement

My work creates an uneasy environment that embodies my love-hate relationship with consumerism and pop culture and how they simultaneously perpetuate both ecstasy and extreme anxiety in quotidian life. In my videos, I act as an undercover agent trying to expose the absurdities of a manipulative social structure while at the same time humorously struggling and reveling in it as a participant.

My process includes performance. I often create characters that function as avatars that act out responses to contemporary society, addressing the social, cultural and personal. I induce intimate situations between my created personalities and the audience by staging my videos within installations that are pushed to exaggerated and imaginative levels. My videos and installations infiltrate the psychological and physical space of the viewer, giving form to a sort of vulnerability – a nervous laughter.

People often ask, “Why are you so happy all of the time?” and my response is “It’s better than crying.” Ultimately, in my work I would like to continue the exploration of humor as a complicated intersection where hope, happiness, anxiety and darkness reside much like our society, a tension-filled existence of both criticality and complacency.

Website: yoshiesakai.com


Solo Exhibitions from 2008-2012

That’s Amore, Deborah Martin Gallery, Los Angeles

Time shoots because it is beautiful in the present, East Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Calif.

Select Group Exhibitions from 2008-2012

Night Light: Multimedia Garden Party, SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco

Start the ball rolling again, Summercamp’s ProjectProject, Los Angeles
The Quotidian World Video Art Exhibition, Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, Calif.

Global Hybrid, The Meta House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

GLAMFA 2008, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.

Select Community-based Artwork

Postmarked 2009, International Mail Art Exhibition, The Claremont Forum, Claremont, Calif.

Hollywould…Freewaves 11th Festival of Experimental Media Arts, On Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Calif.

Fellowships and Awards

Claremont Graduate Fellowship
Claremont Graduate University, School of Humanities Art Fellow


M.F.A., 2009
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, Calif.

B.F.A., 2004
California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.

B.A., 1994
Ancient Greek and Latin, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles

B.A., 1994
Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles