May 2013

Four years after I quit ballet full-time, I felt that the negligence of my body was detrimental to myself. This is an improvised performance set to "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saint-Saëns that arose from a desire to utilize the fluidity of my own body, a medium that I had known well previously, in the gallery space.

Elevated Site

May 2013

Stage curtain, conduit pipes, 5”x7” painting
Site-specific installation utilizing the gallery space’s stage platform as a nod to my history as a ballet dancer

Oil on gessobord, 5"x7"


Oil on gessobord

After Ozu

H9"× W12"
Oil on gessobord
H228.6 × W304.8 mm

Through a Haunting

H6"× W6" each
Oil on canvas
一枚 H152.4 × W152.4 mm 


Bald spots, patches shifting over time. Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) leaves changing imprints of anxiety on my scalp and head. Through A Haunting references personal photographs and aims to transcend the stigma that comes with trichotillomania by transforming the shame of its tangible destruction into sights of beauty.

Also featured in Nomadique's The Anatomy of Forgiveness, April 2014

ハゲ、斑点は時間の経過とともに変化する。トリコチロマニア(抜毛症)は、私の頭皮と頭部に不安の痕跡を変化させながら残していく。Through A Hauntingは、個人的な写真を参照し、その目に見える破壊の恥ずかしさを美の光景に変換することによって、抜毛症に伴うスティグマを超越することを目的としている。

Hey Neighbor

June 2011
80 Washington East Gallery, NYC

We have all been voyeurs at one time or another, scrutinizing others in parks or coffee shops, grocery stores or on the street. In an age of technological convenience and transparency, we have taken on the role of voyeur at home as well, from behind computer screens, shielded by anonymity. It is when the voyeur is safely within the individual household that he/she has the freedom to stare, while the other party remains oblivious.

The inspiration for Hey Neighbor is rooted in Lewis Carroll’s original Alice in Wonderland illustration, in which Alice, after falling down the rabbit hole, comes across a minuscule door that opens up to Wonderland. A voyeur staring into another reality, Alice opens the door to indulge her curiosity. In this installation, the audience is faced with a similar choice of whether to ignore the door that opens up to another person’s private space, or continue to sneakily watch out of guilty pleasure. Hey Neighbor explores the juxtaposition between two realities: the reality of the unseen observer, and that of the observed—in an age where technology can eliminate the thin line between public and private; between what is free and what must be earned to view; and between the visible and invisible.

© Kei Ota