Click on each image below for a larger view and more information about the work.
Ginger Owen-Murakami is a Professor and Area Co-Coordinator of Photography and
Intermedia at the Frostic School of Art.
For more about the artist, visit gingerowen.com
Waterways is a large scale, sculptural installation that emphasizes imaging oneself in genealogical lineage. Methods for creating this work involved appropriating imagery from my respective family albums and framing ideas around the experience of a 6-week travel grant to drive from Paris through Croatia, Greece and Turkey returning through Istanbul and Eastern Europe. Researching while traveling allowed me to consider the implications of colonialism and immigration as a cultural development in art making. I visited museums, photographed the landscapes and century-old cityscapes keeping to the coast most of the trip. The coast lines, beaches and water views mostly inspired me to create this work as "a meditation on water as a cultural gateway" - meanwhile, I fostered an appreciation for my own Croatian heritage.
The portrait images that I collaged into Waterways are iconic in nature, typical of pictures that exist in all family photo albums. They reference concepts linked to blueprints of identity and help me to find my place in a larger historical picture. This installation explores collective memories, vernacular photography and the act of pursuing one’s history as a universal human experience. Ultimately, this work is a residue of the process of self-discovery and catharsis. Symbolically, it expresses commonalities that bind people and cultures and serves as an expression of humanism.