Untitled, from the series Aggressive Girls

by Chikara Umihara

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Artist Statement

 

Within the social infrastructure of the black community in Brooklyn, lesbian women have found their role of empowerment through employing the male-dominant Hip Hop culture. From this male-dominant culture has emerged a new breed of female-dominant culture, in which lesbian women define themselves as "Aggressive Girls." My photography comes from my own journey: the journey to investigate the place; to understand the culture; to explore the world I was fascinated by; and the journey to find my deep personal reflection. My great interest in photography is to express the light and darkness in color. The process of photographing is about finding the emotion, fear and enlightenment, both my own and the subject's. In my work, I am trying to tell the emotion and feeling through my pictures. To me, in order to tell about the place and people, the rhythm, intonation and lyrical expression are more important than merely recording the facts and knowledge. To do that, I am always aiming at capturing the air within the place and people. It can convey the temperature, humidity, feelings, emotions and atmosphere. The air can be described in light. The grain and color expose the psyche. After the first frame, my project begins. Each next frame is the key to keep going closer and deeper. And the project starts dictating its own direction.

 

Chikara Umihara

 

Chikara Umihara came to New York in 2006 to pursue his interest in photography. Formerly, he was a practitioner of martial arts for over 15 years. He earned his BA in literature from Waseda University in Tokyo, in 2000. He attended Review Santa Fe in New Mexico in 2010. He was a 2010 Hot Shot!, and he was selected for the Present Tense competition exhibition at Photo Center NW in Seattle as well as the new directions competition exhibition at wall space gallery in Santa Barbara and Seattle in 2011. Chikara was named the 2010 Hey, Hot Shot! Ne Plus Ultra, and is represented by Jen Bekman Gallery.

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