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Rea Tajiri is a filmmaker and visual artist who earned her BFA and MFA degree from the California Institute of the Arts in post-studio art. She recently completed a new hybrid-documentary, Lordville, which premiered at CAAMFest 2014 at the Pacific Film Archives and is currently in festival distribution. In this new work, Tajiri explores the ways in which landscape, memory and history reverberate in a small New York town on the Delaware River. Professor Tajiri’s earlier works have been included in several major film festivals. Her  award winning personal essay film History and Memory, premiered at the 1991 Whitney Biennial and won several awards including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, and a Special Jury Award; New Genres from the San Fransisco International Film Festival. The film has been written about by film scholars such as Bill Nichols, Laura U. Marks, Michael Renov and writer David L. Eng. Tajiri and civil-rights organizer Pat Saunders co-produced a film on the life of Harlem human-rights activist Yuri Kochiyama entitled: Passion for Justice. Both films are currently in distribution with Women Make Movies. Tajiri’s debut dramatic feature film Strawberry Fields was funded through an ITVS Production Grant and had its European premier at the 54th Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica (Venice Film Festival) in 1997. It won the Grand Prix at the Fukuoka Asian International Film Festival the following year. The film received distribution through Vanguard Releasing. Tajiri is a two-time recipient of the Rockefeller Media Fellowship, and two NEA Visual Arts Fellowships. She was awarded residencies from the MacDowell Colony and Smack Mellon. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Theater, Film and Media Arts at Temple University where she teaches documentary production. Tajiri served as the 2012-13 Faculty Director for the Temple University Los Angeles Study Away Program.


WATARIDORI: birds of passage

A collage across time and space, WATARIDORI: birds of passage is a multisite installation that activates real and speculative histories of the Japanese Americans who arrived in Philadelphia from US concentration camps during World War II


Viewing Hours

Installation will be on view May 3 -- May 31, 2018


Visit our sites, look for Miko’s blue bicycle parked in front!


Creese Courtyard
3220 Chestnut stands next door to the original site of the Philadelphia Hostel, a limestone row house that once stood at 3228 Chestnut. The Philadelphia Hostel provided temporary housing for Japanese Americans being released from U.S. concentrations camps during World War II. Our window is a commemorative space for Saburo and Michiyo Inouye- proprietors of the hostel. Open 24/7

Rising Sun Night Market (aka Spiral Q storefront) 3808 Lancaster Ave – It was rumored that a Japanese american shopkeeper ran a store on Lancaster Ave, though we were unable to verify the history of the shop;  this installation is in commemoration. A ghost market - a space of commerce displaying goods which mark the dates of speculative events and histories of various Japanese & Japanese americans who came and went through Philadelphia. Visit day or night; nightly video projections begin run from 8:30 p.m. -10:45 p.m

4238 Spruce Street House –  Bamboo from Tatsui Baba’s Woodland gravesite is transplanted here. This house as it stands today was where the Philadelphia Hostel moved during the late 50’s.  It was transformed by the Inouye’s into an international student hostel. Leave an offering at the roadside shrine in the front yard. Open 24/7

Tatsui Baba Gravesite- Woodlands Cemetery – Woodland Avenue- entrance gate directly across from the SEPTA 40th St Trolley portal. Map to Baba’s grave located just inside gate. Tatsui Baba was a minor figure in the modernization of Imperial Japan; an intellectual, an author of political tracts. After being arrested for carrying explosives, he relocates to Philadelphia where he founded The Oriental Society, an organization that closed its doors in 2016. Two years after his arrival, Baba dies in Philadelphia. His remains are split between here and Japan. Open from dawn to dusk

Apparitions of the Non-Alien: a commissioned essay written by Vince Schleitwiler - can be found in the Wataridori-birds of passage booklet which can be purchased at the opening, and at Asian Arts Initiative after the opening. Proceeds from the booklet will be donated to CCATE