Born 1981 in Mexico City, Mexico; lives in Mexico City and works in Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico

Yuriko Rojas Moriyama graduated from the School of Art at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM), where she also obtained a master’s degree in visual studies. She teaches visual arts and has worked as an academic, museographer, designer, and artist. As part of a commemoration of 120 years of collaboration between Mexico and Japan, Rojas Moriyama’s artwork was featured in the exhibition Selenite Garden (Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City, 2017). Her art also received honorable mentions at the Annual Salon of the School of Art (2002, 2003) and twice placed second in the University Biennale of Visual Art (2003, 2004). Rojas Moriyama has been curating and designing exhibitions with Mexican and international artists since 2007; her projects have included Intervenciones at the School of Art, which featured in situ works by young local artists. She has served on the committee of the University Biennale of Visual Art since 2005.


For me, art making is based in life itself. That's why I think my work has the very strong burden of self-references. But I believe that art is vital for its power to mobilize through an idea that becomes an image, touching and mobilizing another subject.

I began making self-portraits--the self-portrait implies not the unfolding of a person's image but rather thinking about oneself. So I started by looking for something, but it didn't have a form. This was my initial training. Now, I'm very clear that all my work is based on an experience of life and that in a way t's like a response--like the imprint of one's existence. But I'm interested today in work with others. I'm not so interested that my work is so autobiographical or self-referential. Rather, I have become interested in opening these codes so that other subjects can insert themselves and read them, along with me so that it doesn't have to be their own experience but theirs summed up by an image.

Art as a form of knowledge implies that the final result is an object or in a form that is lasting, but art has no definition nor is it abstract. For me, art is made out of this material that's alive.

I'm lucky that I worked in Mexico because immigration meant suvival. My grandparents were from Hiroshima, arriving without knowing what was to come. Then came another generation later. I was born in Mexico and am rooted in this culture, but my family has immigrated again. My mother and sister moved to the US. So these experiences like of displacement are interestingly very marked between Mexico, the US and Japan, which are the parts of this project.

My work does not try to be specific or placed only in the Japanese experience or community. Rather through this experience, I hope to expand thinking about immigration as a phenomenon that's global and complex.

* * * * *

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. Yuriko Rojas Moriyama is one of the artists featured in this exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, visit

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

*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 Sep 22 2018 10:06 p.m.

Nikkei Roots: Digging into Our Cultural Heritage

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