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ARTIST PROFILE:

Born 1972 in Lima, Peru; lives and works in Lima.

Patssy Higuchi grew up in a family of artists, learning how to paint from her father and how to throw pottery from her mother. She studied drawing and painting for six years at the National School of Fine Arts of Peru—the same school where her parents met. In 1993, she met her future husband, the Cuban artist A. Alexix García; that same year, the two of them founded Cauri Taller de Gráfica Experimental, a print workshop for artists. The couple briefly lived in Havana, Cuba, where Higuchi was a guest artist at the Experimental Graphic Workshop, before returning to Peru.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Look, I have round eyes and hair like this.

Interviewer: You don't look very Nikkei.

No. This was always very difficult for me since I was a child. That someone recognize me as part of the Nikkei community makes me feel like I belong. This is funny because I always had this contradiction with myself since childhood. And part of my work has been to negate this because in appearance that's not me, but it's also why I've felt like it was important—belonging was very important.

My immediate environment, my family, and what occurs in my life, is what principally feeds my work. I won't say that the political and social climate don't affect me, because, yes, they influence and impact, but my work always starts with what happens to me in the moment that I'm in.

At the beginning, I was very concerned with everything that had to do with my body because of what was happening to me in this moment. I began to question myself and why women have to conform to all of these controls over their bodies, and I began to be concerned a lot with everything to do with the formation of a woman's identity. I began to focus on printmaking, mass media and all that.

I left to live abroad, but this theme of women was always recurrent. I came back to live here, and I got pregnant again. This was my third child, and she was a girl. And suddenly, my daughter became like the motor to initiate a new way of seeing what I had been doing. Suddenly, I could see myself in her. So this brought me a set of questions about my mother and myself. Since my mother spent a lot of time with us—my three sisters—I learned to knit, to embroider and to sew. I have always worked with my hands, and in my work, at school, I spent a lot of time painting, but I also made ceramics and, later, engravings.

The process of lithography was what first grabbed my attention because there is this mold that is hard, rigid—that's a rock—that you work on and afterwards use a chemical process to make the image. I don't know why there's this relationship of something rigid and hard that reproduces a print. Starting there, I followed that. And I continued with a line of work that I have carried on from then.

* * * * *

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo is on view at the Japanese American National Museum from September 17, 2017 - February 25, 2018. The exhibition examines the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California. Patssy Higuchi is one of the artists featured in this exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, visit janm.org/transpacific-borderlands.

Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
janm.org

*The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a Getty-led initiative exploring Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, and is made possible through grants from the Getty Foundation. The presenting sponsor of PST: LA/LA is Bank of America.

JANM — Last modified Dec 20 2019 12:57 p.m.


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