Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exhibition: Hafu/Half Japanese

(Image borrowed from Hafu/Half Japanese.)

Announcement from Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture Lecture Series 2009:

Being Half Japanese in the transnational age: an enquiry into culture and identity

Marcia Yumi Lise
Natalie Maya Willer

5 pm, June 25, 2009
Rm. 301, 3F, Bldg. 10
Sophia University

Photographer Natalie Maya Willer and researcher/writer Marcia Yumi Lise recently produced a highly successful exhibition at the Bodhi Gallery (Brick Lane) entitled 'Hafu'/Half Japanese. Showcasing a photographic series produced by Natalie and featuring interviews conducted by Marcia, 'Hafu' sought to create a cultural dialogue to a very current theme with complex issues relating to mixed ethnic identity. The stories provide a rich account of their lives and let us explore the ways in which they construct their identities and establish a sense of belonging whilst being in between two worlds.

Through Natalie's photographs and based on Marcia's interviews, this lecture asks how Hafus view themselves and are viewed by others with respect to their cultural heritage and identity. This ongoing exhibition project explores the complex nature of Hafu experiences, which is often a result of various factors ranging from upbringing, family relationships, education or even physical appearance and the racially designated society surrounding us. Ultimately, it seeks to highlight the individual diversity and located-ness of the experiences of this specific multiethnic group and to characterise the negotiation and self-definition of ethnic territory and identity.

About Marcia Yumi Lise

Marcia was born and raised in a suburban town in Kanagawa, to a Japanese mother and an Italian-American father. She moved to London in 2001 where she studied Sociology and recently completed an MA in Social Research at Goldsmiths College.

About Natalie Maya Willer

Natalie was born in Munich, Germany to a Japanese mother and German father. She moved to London in 1997 where she studied photography at the University of Westminster and completed an MA in Communication Arts & Design at the Royal College of Art in 2004.

For more information on the Hafu project, visit their web site at

Lecture in English
No prior registration necessary

As discussed in a prior VAOJ post, this is an interesting issue and a great subject for visual anthropology.

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