A mask and kimono, worn during my performance by the same title <Kimono 2 What We Wear (In Vita)>, hang stretched on bamboo.  A monitor loops the 24-minute performance. The kimono is painted white outside and gold inside. 

The performance and installation address the layers of externally imposed expectations of behavior, conflicting internal identities, and the performance of self. Beauty, belonging, American-ness, Japanese-ness, quiet or silenced, sexuality, cultural pride, and trauma, including the objectification and fetishization of the Asian femme bodies.

Towards the end of the performance, the audience is silently invited to paint the faceless Asian woman white.

Autonomy stripped away as layers of paint, projections, violations, and objectification are caked on. It’s suffocating. But is it?  I claim and own my autonomy,  governing the rules and expectations of the performance and audience experience.  

The viewer is positioned to feel enveloped by the hovering entity, yet the body herself is conspicuously absent.

ABOUT THIS PIECE – wall text from May 2022 exhibition at the National Japanese American Historical Society


  • Title “Kimono2: What We Wear”
  • Artist – Midori
  • Run time 24 min 46 sec
  • Performance recorded 2017


  • Title “Kimono2: What We Wear”
  • Artist – Midori
  • 2022
  • Material – antique kimono, tempera paint, acrylic paint, bamboo, antique Noh mask (onnamen 女面 ), monitor, video

An interactive performance directly challenging and daring the audience to face the lived realities of Asian American women.  Midori bares her layers of identities and internalized expectations of performance of gender, race, cultures, beauty, histories, and commodification of the Japanese American woman and fetishization of the “imagined Japan”, while stepping directly into disOrienting deep vulnerability. 

In the end, each audience member must make a choice; To honor the artist’s direction makes them complicit in cultural violence. To stand against cultural atrocity leads them to refuse the artist’s invitation.