Ayano Elson

Ayano Elson is an artist based in New York. She was born in Okinawa, a small island colonized by Japan in 1879 and occupied by the United States from 1945–1972.

In her artistic practice, she collaborates closely with one or two artists to examine landscapes disappearing under the twin forces of imperialism and climate change, then physicalize those losses through movement. Her identity is connected to landforms and cities that contain histories of colonization and suffer under threat of global warming, in particular her birthplace of Okinawa, which is both Japan’s poorest prefecture and the most negatively and violently affected by imperialism. Ayano’s connection to these places is threatened by the fragility of her aging relatives, but also by bleached coral, typhoons, and the increasing presence of the American military—the largest polluter in the entire world.

She has been an artist-in-residence at Art Cake, Gibney, AUNTS at Mount Tremper Arts, and at Movement Research as a Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Fellow. As a performer, she has worked with Kim Brandt, Jessica Cook, devynn emory, Simone Forti, Kyli Kleven, Abigail Levine, and Haegue Yang at Issue Project Room, the Kitchen, MoMA, MoMA PS1, MCA Chicago, Movement Research at Judson Memorial Church, New Museum, Pioneer Works, Roulette, and SculptureCenter. Ayano’s choreography has been supported and presented by the Chocolate Factory, Gibney, Knockdown Center, New Museum, and Roulette.

Past Classes & Events

2018 MR Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Fellows

December 16, 2018
performance

2018 MR Van Lier Emerging Artist of Color Fellows

December 16, 2018
performance

Movement Research at the Judson Church

November 05, 2018
performance

Movement Research at the Judson Church

October 24, 2016
performance