Yoshie Sakai is a multidisciplinary artist, working in video, installation, performance, and sculpture. She received her BFA from California State University Long Beach and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. She attended residencies at Vermont Studio Center, ACRE, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received the 2012 California Community Foundation for Visual Artists Emerging Artist Fellowship. She has shown work throughout the United States in film festivals and art exhibitions at institutions such as the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, Verge Center for the Arts Sacramento, Antenna New Orleans, University of Albany University Art Museum, Chinese American Museum Los Angeles, and the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as internationally in Cambodia, Canada, Germany, and Japan.
Sakai’s work creates an uneasy environment that embodies her love-hate relationship with pop culture and how it simultaneously perpetuates both ecstasy and extreme anxiety in quotidian life. In her videos, she is a colorful and subtly transgressive undercover cultural agent exposing the absurdities of a manipulative social structure while at the same time humorously struggling and reveling in it as a participant, negotiating contemporary social issues of cultural identity, gender roles, and familial and personal relationships. She induces intimate situations between her created personalities and the audience via her videos and installations that are pushed to exaggerated and imaginative levels. Her work infiltrates the psychological space of the viewer, giving form to a sort of vulnerability—a nervous laughter.