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Rea Tajiri

Last Name: 
Tajiri
First Name: 
Rea

Rea Tajiri is a Japanese American video artist and filmmaker. She was born in Chicago, Illinois. Tajiri attended California Institute of the Arts and worked as a producer on various film and video projects in Los Angeles and New York. Tajiri's video art has been included in the 1989, 1991, and 1993 Whitney Biennials. She has also been exhibited at The New Museum for Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, The Walker Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archives. History and Memory: For Akiko and Takashige (1991) was Tajiri's personal essay documentary about the Japanese American internment. It premiered at the 1991 Whitney Biennial and won the Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association. It also was awarded a Special Jury Prize: "New Visions Category" at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1992, and won "Best Experimental Video," Atlanta Film and Video Festival, 1992. In 1993 she made Yuri Kochiyama: Passion for Justice, a documentary about the Nisei Japanese American human rights activist. Tajiri co-produced the documentary with Pat Saunders. She partnered with Japanese Canadian author Kerri Sakamoto to write a coming-of-age story about a Japanese American girl in Chicago in the 1970s, resulting in Strawberry Fields, shot in 1994 with funding from CPB, NEA, and ITVS. The film stars Suzy Nakamura, James Sie, Chris Tashima and Takayo Fischer, and was completed in 1997, screening at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. It also was selected to the Venice International Film Festival and won the Grand Prix at the Fukuoka Asian Film Festival Tajiri continues to live and work in New York. She has taught filmmaking at Temple University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and SUNY Purchase. Her work is in distributed by Women Make Movies, Electronic Arts Intermix and is available on Netlfix.