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Osamu James Nakagawa

Statement for Drive in Theater/Billboard series
Series consists of 26 images
Type C-print
26 ½" X 40"

Drive in Theater/Billboard series

Much of my life has been divided between Japan and America. As a result, I feel like a stranger to both Japanese and English languages and cultures. Photography has become my expressive bridge.

I am interested in the mythology of The American Dream, as outwardly reflected in the early part of this century in the United States and currently exported globally by media. A myth that is based in the psychology of our perceived notions of the United States with its excess of materials, ideologies, and freedoms. This series of photographs attempts to subvert icons of American Culture with unexpected environments. By changing the context of familiar imagery to Americans, the viewer becomes an observer and is asked to question the ideology of The American Dream.

The nostalgic mythology of the drive-in theater is juxtaposed with explicitly public and political messages. Similarly, the commercial nature of the billboard is subverted. The series as a whole proposes a critical inspection of Western society from my particular viewpoint, which is Eastern in origin and Western by immersion.