Aya Rodriguez-Izumi

My practice deals with concepts of ritual retention in the face of ancestral trauma, colonization and migration. I’m interested in how common everyday activities and objects can take on a ritualistic significance. I approach this theme by calling on personal experiences from my Cuban/Puerto Rican and Okinawan heritage. These ideas are explored through a range of media – installation, performance, sculpture, video and beyond are all utilized depending on the project’s needs. My work often exists in unusual and hard to use spaces: an old pharmaceutical factory, a warehouse historically used to manufacture doors, an underused section of a public city park have all served as backdrops for projects. I aim to create a transformative environment and experience for the viewer with the goal of creating bridges for cultural understanding. By inviting viewers in through one-on-one interactive performances, or offering a prompt whereby they are the sole performers, participants play a vital role in the work.