Rea Tajiri

30 Nov 2016


Rea Tajiri, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


Rea Tajiri, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.


Rea Tajiri, film still from Wisdom Gone Wild.


Rea Tajiri, film still from Lordville, 2014.

"[My films] present emotional/experiential descriptions of loss, absence, displacement; 'the truths' that can be gleaned through an exploration of intimacy, interior life...I leave an opening for the viewer to draw their own conclusions and relate the film to their own experience."

Rea Tajiri's (b. 1958) films straddle documentary and art film genres, finding new ways of storytelling that embrace the murky spaces of memory, history, and public consciousness. She characterizes her work as "personal essay documentary," exploring the effects of political, social, and emotional histories within families and across generations. Her current project, Wisdom Gone Wild, chronicles 15 years of caregiving for her mother and explores aging as a natural developmental stage of cognition. Tajiri holds both a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is the founder of Ghost Pictures, an independent production company. Her films have been shown at the Venice Film Festival, the Guggenheim (New York and Bilbao), and the Whitney Biennial, among others. Tajiri has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Her groundbreaking 1991 film History and Memory is part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.