Mayumi Nakao

Region: Northeast

City / State: Brooklyn , NY

 My work concept is about family and friendship, and it emerged from a very good place. A friend of mine in New York City, who is from Ghana showed me their family photos from back in the day. I was immediately drawn to those of his family enjoying their time together in America. These captured moments touched my heart—so much so that I wanted to paint them on canvas.

When I first saw the photos a few years ago, they made me think about my own family back in Japan; about the good times and the bond we all still share. The experience elicited intense feelings of nostalgia.

I wanted my work to focus on different cultures and races as a way of cultivating humanity and spreading love. I thought about the different generations represented in my friend’s photos and aimed to tap into our common memory through paintings that are strongly present, and simultaneously, doorways to our shared past.