Denise Uyehara


Denise Uyehara is an interdisciplinary performance artist/writer/playwright whose work has been presented across the United States (the Walker Art Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Highways Performance Space), and internationally (the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki, Dokkyo Performance Studies Conference and the Morishita Studio in Tokyo, the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, Women in View Festival in Vancouver). She was a founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls. Recent works include “The Senkotsu (Mis)Translation Project,” and interdisciplinary performance installation which explores the U.S. military occupation in Okinawa; and “Big Head”, links the U.S. government’s incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II with treatment of those perceived as “the enemy” now, including Arab Americans, Muslims, and South Asian Americans. Earlier works include “Hello (Sex) Kitty: Mad Asian Bitch on Wheels,” “Headless Turtleneck Relatives,” and “Maps of City & Body.”

Uyehara has received numerous awards which include the mid-career C.O.L.A. Award from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, a Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program. She was a Poets & Writers ‘Writer on Site’ at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Beyond Baroque Literary Center. Uyehara was a member of the California Arts Council Touring Roster. (details below)

She teaches workshops in the community, and has taught performance for the Dept. of World Arts & Cultures at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and for the Depts. of Asian American Studies and Studio Arts at the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

Education: BA in Comparative Literature (UCI) and an MFA from the Dept. of World Arts & Cultures (UCLA).

Publications: Maps of City & Body: Shedding Light on the Performance and Process of Denise Uyehara (Kaya Press, 2004).  Her work also appears in O Solo Homo, Asian American Drama, Getting Your Solo Act Together, and The Asian Pacific American Journal, and as part of Meiling Cheng’s In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art.

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Arizona Public Media ran a story on “Dreams & Silhouettes” for its Jan. 23rd edition of AZ Illustrated. Story by Mary Olivas, produced by Luis Carrion with videography by Andrew Brown.

“La Estrella” covers “Dreams / Silhuetas” for the bilingual edition of the Arizona Daily Star. Story by Joseph Trevino.

Art critic and journalist Margaret Regan writes about the latest production of “Dreams and Silhouettes” for the TWeekly, featuring interviews with Uyehara and her ensemble.