Pacific Asian Museum, Pasadena, California, 1995
Curator: Candace Lee
In cooperation with: AT&T New Art/New Vision, The National Endowment for the Arts,
The Andy Warhol Foundation for The Visual Arts, Metropolitan Life Foundation, and The Pasadena Art Alliance
cast soap, traditional doll material, wood, water, video projector, baby powder scent
Oriention was an installation that explored both Nagasawa’s personal experience and more general social-political implications of being an Asian woman. Fastened to a center wall were rows of traditional Japanese doll faces. Over these faces, a video projected images of Asian women from early Hollywood motion pictures. In the center of the room, a platform displayed dozens of traditional Japanese doll bodies cast in soap. In contemporary Japan, “soap land” is the slang term for massage parlors catering to businessmen. Viewers were encouraged to place soap dolls in the small tub of water, thus dissolving past and present stereotypes of Asian women.