Shizu Saldamando’s ‘Visual Biographies’ Explore Identity Issues Among Asian American Youth

WASHINGTON, DC—Shizu Saldamando relies on her friends for inspiration. Her “visual biographies” look almost like illustrated snapshots and depict people she knows. The works on wood capture social interactions, reference youth subculture and explore identity issues.

Her work is a part of the “Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter,” show at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibit cites Saldamando’s concept: “I am interested in documenting mundane social moments as a way to glorify everyday people who are often overlooked, yet whose existence is the embodiment and legacy of historical struggle.”

Born to parents of Japanese and Mexico descent, Saldamando lives and works in Los Angeles.

“Portraiture Now” is on view from Aug. 12, 2011 to Oct. 14, 2012. The exhibit includes the work of seven artists, including Salamando, Zhang Chun Chong and CYJO.

Photos by Arts Observer

Top of page, Detail of “Carm’s Crew,” 2009 (gold leaf and oil on wood).

“Cat and Carm,” 2008 (gold leaf and oil on wood).

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