Tim Okamura’s ‘Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Gentle’ Exhibition Shines a Highlight on Social Justice Warriors

When Tim Okamura’s work arrive at a gallery, they resonate. 

With Okamura’s work already garnering consideration within the D.C. space, his new exhibition, “Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Gentle,” which premieres in October at Pittsburgh’s August Wilson African American Cultural Middle (AWAACC), guarantees to be a landmark occasion within the artist’s ascending profession. 

Canadian-born and Brooklyn-based, Okamura has left a big imprint on Smithsonian artwork fanatics. His inclusion within the esteemed “Outwin: American Portraiture Right now” exhibition cemented his repute, aligning him with luminaries resembling Amy Sherald, the artist behind former first woman Michelle Obama’s White Home portrait.

The artist’s affect extends to the political sphere as properly. Again in 2015, he obtained a letter from now-President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., acknowledging his inventive contributions to felony justice reform.

‘Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Gentle

Curated by Karla Ferguson of Miami’s Yeelen Group, the upcoming exhibition is a story collection of large-scale works, work and installations. “Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Gentle” dives into an alternate actuality the place a gaggle of girls warriors rise towards an authoritarian regime. 

Drawing upon his personal Japanese-Canadian heritage, and the affect of popular culture and historic figures, Okamura presents a story of resistance with multi-cultural richness.

“Onna-Bugeisha: Warriors of Gentle” is a brand new path in my lifelong quest to discover cultural identification,” stated Okamura. “This collection is a testomony to the facility of the human spirit, notably specializing in Black, Indigenous, and folks of colour (BIOPIC) ladies as a band of Samurai warriors, echoing the real-life tales of heroes like Yasuke, the primary Black Samurai, and legendary feminine Samurai Tomoe Gozen.”

Whereas the exhibition’s storyline and imagery are fantastical, the themes are pointedly actual. Okamura fearlessly confronts points like oppression, ladies’s rights, and the erosion of democratic establishments. 

Kimberly Jacobs, assistant curator at AWAACC, defined the exhibition emanates “a way of energy, satisfaction, and sweetness that pulls from a wealthy multicultural visible language.”

Okamura’s “Warriors of Gentle” aren’t only a painted military; they’re an allegory for social justice warriors of at this time. These ladies are embodying resilience, unity, and the struggle for a greater world. 

“Their tales are imbued in these work as a testomony to the facility of the human spirit,” Okamura shared. “And my goal is to honor their efforts and lift consciousness by my artwork.”

Named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, the AWAAC stated Okamura’s exhibit is an extra extension of the humanities group’s dedication to showcasing numerous inventive voices.

 “We’re honored to current Okamura’s largest solo exhibition within the U.S. to our neighborhood,” Jacobs stated. The exhibition is about to open on Oct. 12, offering a platform for dialogue that’s anticipated to interact and encourage not simply artwork critics and collectors however a broader viewers attuned to social change.”