U-M exhibition challenges social constructs pertaining to individual and collective identity

October 28, 2021
Written By:
Stephanie Harrell
  • umichnews@umich.edu


Los Angeles-based artist Shizu Saldamando’s modern portraits create new ways of seeing and being seen, rendering her subjects visible to new audiences and reflected in contemporary culture.

“When This is All Over/Cuando Esto Termine” will be on view Nov. 2-Dec. 10 at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities Gallery.

The subjects of Saldamando’s portraits are often-overlooked communities of color, punks, artists, friends, family, activists and queers. Working from informal snapshots, she merges painting and collage, often using origami paper, glitter or gold leaf in her compositions, many of which are painted on wood or found surfaces.

Saldamando’s practice is informed by hip-hop, punk rock and the post-punk era. Her deep roots in the LatinX artist and queer club scene of Los Angeles is as integral to her work as her family’s history of incarceration in Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during WWII.

“Each work feels up-close, immediate, intimate, honoring family, friends and peers from her own creative community, those she admires and appreciates,” said Amanda Krugliak, curator of the Institute for the Humanities Gallery. “It’s personal, even during recent times of social distance.”

A special evening viewing with Saldamando in conversation with Krugliak takes place at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery, located at 202 S. Thayer St. in Ann Arbor. The gallery is free and open to the public weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.