Hidemi Takagi

2022 Recipient of the Sustainable Arts Fellowship

Hidemi Takagi has a strong history of working with various immigrant, minority and underserved communities on projects that include photography as well as social/public engagement and installation elements. As an immigrant from Japan, she is interested in the mixing of these histories with local culture. Her husband is Haitian and grew up in Brooklyn and they have a daughter; so Caribbean culture also plays a significant role in her own life. For the past 6 years, she has been working on the projects in her Bedford Stuyvesant community, Brooklyn. As a resident of New York City since 1997, living in various neighborhoods in NYC, she finds the established cultures within her homes and photographs the color, joy, and life of the people who came from diverse communities. She became interested in social engagement art projects since 2015. Usually she spends some time with her subjects and creates portraits project together.

IDENTITIES is an ongoing photography installation project (Portraits + Interview) started with Takagi’s family’s identities during the pandemic — a project she wants to expand to contribute to a national discourse on mixed-race identities at this key anti-racist time. Her daughter, who is half Haitian American and half Japanese American, was born and is growing up in New York City. Takagi herself was born in Japan and came to New York City in 1997. Her husband was born in Haiti and grew up in Brooklyn. In New York, they have let go of some aspects of their original cultures, and at the same time, they have not sought much to assimilate. Through the process of creating IDENTITIES, she searches to visualize her family’s roots and the cultural tendrils that have grown and intertwined from them and also address the issues of mixed-race identity, racism, and immigration in America. She wants to look at biracial issues related to others who thus identify and explore questions of biraciality/multiraciality in a range of US locales, and to investigate representing mixed-race identities across America.