GENDERLESS will feature a live performance (at the opening, starting at 6:30pm) as well as an intimate selection of self-portraits from the artists’ new series "Those.” These new self-portraits continue the artist's exploration into their conflicted identity as a Japanese-American cisgender individual. Each portrait features the artist recreating themselves as men, women and the third sex; simultaneously surreal yet playful the work has an underlying ominous feel, emphasizing the internal struggles between their genders. Ayakmay's work leaves both the viewer and the artist questioning what gender is.
The opening will also feature a live performance where the artist will create a ceremony stripping them of gender there with audience participation.
Born in 1985 in Tennessee, Ayakamay’s family moved several times due to their father’s job, living in Nashville, Mission Viejo and Los Angeles. During this time, Ayakamay’s family also traveled back and forth to Japan where the family decided to settle down when they was ten. Having been raised in an American lifestyle, the shift to Japan was especially confusing and overwhelming.
Ayakamay struggled to acclimate themself to a radically different culture. As they were being forcibly shoved into a mold that did not fit, they sought solace in art. Eventually Ayakamay’s parents decided art was a negative distraction in their life and took away their art supplies. This was one of the darkest times in their life and the impetus for there to find new ways to express their creativity. Fortunately their parents did not find photography threatening, so they was allowed to use the family camera. This led to serious visual experimentation throughout high school where they honed their craft in photography and filmmaking.
At the age of nineteen, Ayakamay headed for New York City with the hopes of a career as an artist. Here they worked as a painter, musician, performer, photographer and filmmaker. Their current focus, performance art, combines all of their disciplines, reflecting their unique vision as an artist and person raised in two very distinct and at times contradictory cultures.
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