Aya Rodriguez-Izumi is an artist living and working in Harlem whose practice includes, painting, drawing, sculpture and music. She has spent her life moving back and forth between New York City and her birthplace of Okinawa, Japan. Being half Cuban/Puerto Rican and Okinawan/Japanese, socio-cultural identity has always been a focus of her work and life. Since graduating from Parsons the New School for Design she has been included in various group shows and has shown at such venues as MoCADA, Skylight Gallery and Michael Mutt Gallery.
<p>My work deals with how social standards such as beauty, gender and self-image affect our cultural identity. I am interested in how communication and exchange between peoples inform our ever-changing process of enculturation and mold our understanding of these social standards. I approach these themes by comparing personal experiences to generally accepted social mores. Through physically utilizing various media and conceptually pushing together disparate themes, I investigate the diversity of cultural expression along various levels: mainstream, sub and pop cultural. </p>