Midori ( 美登里 ) is a queer, Japanese American artist. She creates work that gives shape and texture to emotion, desire, repulsion, collective memory, and subconscious revisions of experience. Her performances are physical and durational, often inviting the audience to join in and become co-conspirators in the labor of art.
Reclamation of material and collaboration are core values that inform almost everything she creates, and the multiplicity of perspective and disorientation are ongoing themes in her work.
Born and raised in Japan with Japanese and German American heritage, Midori grew up loving Japanese folk art and traditional survival technologies, even as she struggled against the pressures of racism and sexism. Now a San Franciscan of thirty years, her body, like her art, bridges multiple cultures.
After serving in the military, she began her art career performing in queer nightclubs, collaborating with other ‘weirdo’ transgressive and experimental artists, saying “Sure, I’ll do it!” to even the oddest of opportunities. She describes herself as “born an abomination, traveling between worlds seeking other monsters – we are so many monsters.”
Midori’s work has been shown at San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Leslie Lohman Museum, SoMArts, Das Arts Amsterdam, Gorilla Gallery Oaxaca, Root Division, among others.
Solo Exhibitions ———
2020 “Tectonic” Arcana. San Francisco.
2020 “In The Pines” Collective Action Studio. San Francisco.
2013 “Evoco Project” Center for Sex & Culture. San Francisco.
2011 “Masculine” Pure Pleasure. Santa Cruz, CA
2009 “Plastics” Femina Potens Gallery. San Francisco.
Selected Group Exhibitions & Social Practice Projects ———
2022 “Tectonic” sculpture for Arcana Space, San Francisco, CA
2022 “InVocation” Interactive sculpture for the exhibition On Our Backs: Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work at The Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca, New York.
2021 “If the hive is not the sweetness” collaboration sculpture for Dia De Los Muertos exhibition SoMArts San Francisco
2021 “I Love I am Sorry” NFT Every Woman Biennial, Super Chief Gallery New York
2021 “OverJoyed” performance with Jason Wyman for Emergence 2021, Emerging Arts Professionals, San Francisco
2021 “interFace” Audience interactive video performance for Sacred Wounds – Future Conjure online Asian-diasporic performance event. Virtual
2021 “Monster” for Build a New World Oracle Deck Project curated by Mindy Tsonas Choi
2021 “BIPOC Women’s Performance Project” – collaborative performer. San Francisco
2020 “InVocation” Interactive sculpture for juried exhibition Introductions 2020 at Root Division, San Francisco.
2020 “Out Damn Spot” Virtual six-hour durational performance for Pink Full Moon: Opera Povera by Sean Griffin
2020 “InVocation” Interactive sculpture for Sex Worker Pop Up, in conjunction with the United Nations Conference on Status of Women, for the Open Society Foundation. New York.
2020 Pandemic Zines. Online series produced and distributed freely.
2019 “InVocation” Interactive sculpture for the exhibition On Our Backs: Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work at The Leslie-Lohman Museum. New York.
2019 “Who Is My Neighbor” Interactive performance for 40 Performances for the Hole, SOMArts. San Francisco.
2019 “No New Idols” Collective opera by VestAndPage, La Pocha Nostra, & Francesca Carol Rolla. Riga, Latvia.
2019 Queer + Trans Icons, for San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco.
2019 “If You Listen Carefully” Interactive sculpture for Divine Feminist at Art Front Galleries, Newark, NJ.
2018 “Passage” Immersive environmental sculpture commissioned by Museum of Sex for The Incomplete Araki exhibition. New York.
2018 “Object 0.0” for Cast of Characters at the Bureau of General Services. New York.
2017 “Kimono 2: What We Wear” performance at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Seattle.
2017 “Yamamba” Performance for Vanilla Gallery. Tokyo, Japan.
2016 “Evoco Project” Installation, performance & painting for What Is, Was, Epperson Gallery. Crockett, CA.
2016 “Dining Room” Installation and experience for MFA Never, at Root Division. San Francisco.
2016 “Hello, Beautiful!” Installation and interactive work at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Seattle.
2016 “Surrealist Fortuneteller” Interactive performance at the Battery Club. San Francisco,
2015 “Seduction” Commissioned to choreograph the opening night party as an immersive performance for
The Floating World exhibition at the Asian Art Museum. San Francisco.
2015 “Anubis” Installation for Dog & Pony Show at Antebellum Gallery. Los Angeles.
Lectures, Talks, Teaching, Residencies ———
2020 “Connecting Threads” for Practice Practice Practice: On Repetition & Social Form at California College of the Arts
2018 “Yellow Face & Blow Up Dolls. Sex, Grief & Art”: Artist talk at University of California, Santa Cruz
2018-2021 Creative in Residence, San Francisco Battery Club
2017 “Queer Qraft Qamp“: Family art event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
2017 “Embrace Change & Creation… The Artist as Embodied Canvas” for TEDx SoMa, San Francisco
2015 “The Trickster at the Crossroads: The Artist as Instigator and Agent of Intersectionality” at VN Jaeger & Schwarzwald Gallery. Vienna, Austria.
~ ~ ~
She’s collaborated with Nick Knight for British Vogue, Titiano Magni, and Singaporean choreographer Ong Ken Sen, and styled for Keith Lock’s indie Chinese-Canadian ghost movie “The Ache.” Her work has been featured in Lisa Z. Morgan’s tome “Design Behind Desire.”
Tokyo native now based in San Francisco, Midori creates installations and performances provoking reaction and invite participation. Giving shape and texture to emotion, memory, desire, beauty and repulsion fascinates her. Her ongoing Evoco series explores nature of collective memory and subconscious revisions of experience.
Her performances of the Yamamba blurs the boundary of the sacred / the profane, memory / wishing, madness / clarity, and explores the realm of myth and shamanism.
She chronicles her day-to-day studio life, inspirations and process in her Patreon page.