Priscilla Otani Visual Art

June 13, 2023
I started making effigies of people last year to submit to an exhibition at the A.I.R. gallery in Brooklyn. In less than a month, I made 20 dolls of curatorial friends and me. They were accepted, traveled to Brooklyn, were exhibited, then returned to me. They occupy space in my studio now, and have quite a chatter among themselves about future exhibition opportunities.

In November, I was invited by curators Barbara Pollak-Lewis and Paulette Traverso to create work for their exhibition, "Through the Looking Glass." I took a cue from Lewis Carroll's books and turned to effigies again - the Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, Alice, and White Rabbit are all faces of friends. Alice in Wonderland is full of nonsense and upside down logic and I wanted to incorporate that to the state of affairs in Florida politics. The piece is titled, "Where Woke Went."

The theme of "portals" was used for both an NCWCA exhibition and a round of Global Art Tag that I participated in. The first piece I created for Art Tag was submitted and accepted into the gallery portion of the NCWCA's "Portals." Titled "At the Torii Gate," it is a contemplation of impending death. Perhaps in creating a passageway to death, I am inviting misfortune. If so, I've gone a step further with my third piece, a WIP (work in progress) piece titled, "The Summoning."

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope to see you at the opening reception for both exhibitions on Saturday, June 17 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. They are at Arc Gallery, 1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA. I will also be participating in artist talks in both exhibitions. Details are provided below.
Arc Gallery
1246 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Opening Reception: Sat, Jun 17 7-9 PM

In-Person Artist Talk: Jul 22, 1-2:30 PM

Exhibition: Jun 17- Aug 12
Arc Project Gallery
1246 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Opening Reception: Sat, Jun 17 7-9 PM

Exhibition: Jun 17- Aug 12
"Kuchiyose: The Summoning"
6 inch diameter
fabric, glow-in -the-dark block, paper, buttons

This is a portal for summoning the dead. The red faceless dolls attached to the rim are called oshirasama and were used in Japan by blind female shamans (itako), as part of the summoning ritual (kuchiyose). The green tulle represents ectoplasm that envelopes a small glow-in-the-dark amulet. 

Priscilla Otani | PO Box 31083, San Francisco, CA 94131 | | 415.606.7059 | mrpotani