Born in Gifu City, Japan to a mixed race family marrying Asian and African American heritage, Saya Woolfalk lives, works, and performs the provocative concept of cultural hybridity. Her trans-national background informs colorful, multi-disciplinary work which explores the future of racial and cultural cross-pollination. Marrying totemic iconography with technicolor surrealism, science fiction and fantasy, Woolfalk imagines a fictional race of women able to alter their genetic make-up and merge with the natural world. Her mythical society of “Empathics” and “Chimabots” thereby ponders the possibilities for future mutations in a psychedelic, post-human arena. Via a constellation of sculptures, paintings, textiles, works on paper, photographs, collages and video, Woolfalk crafts a vivid parallel world and posits a more fluid, yet plausible, 2.0 version of humanity.
Steven Matijcio, Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, and Valentine Umansky, Curator of Lens-Based Art at the Contemporary Arts Center