Rea Tajiri

2015 Pew Fellow

1/6: Rea Tajiri, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/6: Rea Tajiri, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/6: Rea Tajiri, film still from Wisdom Gone Wild.
4/6: Rea Tajiri, film still from Lordville, 2014.
5/6: Rea Tajiri shooting a scene for Lordville. Photo by Peng Wan.
6/6: Rea Tajiri, film still from Lordville, 2014.

“[My films] present emotional/experiential descriptions of loss, absence, displacement; ‘the truths’ that can be gleaned through an exploration of intimacy, interior life…I leave an opening for the viewer to draw their own conclusions and relate the film to their own experience.”

Rea Tajiri’s (b. 1958) films straddle documentary and art film genres, finding new ways of storytelling that embrace the murky spaces of memory, history, and public consciousness. She characterizes her work as “personal essay documentary,” exploring the effects of political, social, and emotional histories within families and across generations. Her current project, Wisdom Gone Wild, chronicles 15 years of caregiving for her mother and explores aging as a natural developmental stage of cognition. Tajiri holds both a BFA and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is the founder of Ghost Pictures, an independent production company. Her films have been shown at the Venice Film Festival, the Guggenheim (New York and Bilbao), and the Whitney Biennial, among others. Tajiri has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Her groundbreaking 1991 film History and Memory is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.


Pew Fellow and poet Brian Teare (2015) has been awarded a residency through the Center’s ongoing partnership with MacDowell Colony.

Questions of Practice

Feasley is a self-described “landscape painter” whose work tends to be small-scale and intimate—supernatural scenes painted in rich, saturated colors that result in a hybrid of abstract and figurative art.

Dancer, choreographer, and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier takes hip-hop techniques from the street to the stage and tells the autobiographical story defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.

Grants & Grantees

Rafael Ferrer is a visual artist and a 1993 Pew Fellow.

One of the few cemeteries to be designated as a National Historic Landmark, Laurel Hill Cemetery will rebuild the pedestrian entrance that once existed along its river façade, removed more than a century ago.

Grants & Grantees

In 2001 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 57 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Laurence Salzmann is a visual artist and a 2001 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Samuel Hoi has served as President of Los Angeles’ Otis College of Art and Design since 2000.

This month, Afaa Michael Weaver is awarded the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, Joshua Mosley’s work appears at the Whitney Biennial, King Britt curates at MoMA PS1, and much more.

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Sueyeun Juliette Lee read from her chapbook, A Primary Mother.

Grants & Grantees

Teresa Jaynes is a visual artist and a 1999 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Kiranavali Vidyasankar is a vocalist, music teacher, and writer who comes from a lineage of legendary Carnatic (South Indian) musicians.