Umico Niwa

Peat Szilagyi and Umico Niwa

Umico Niwa is currently residing in Richmond Virginia, having just received her MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from the Virginia Commonwealth University. She recently had a solo show, Fruiting Bodies, at the American Institute of Thoughts and Feelings in Tucson, Arizona. She has also been invited to lead a workshop, together with her partner, “Meet Your Gremlin, Make Your Gremlin” at Recess Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City. Umico and Peat will be having a joint show, Solar Coochie, at the end of this month at Holding Contemporary, Portland, Oregon.

Niwa’s practice explores the way Western notions of personhood subsume human life into constructs of sexuality and gender, overlooking the various other modes of unbridled existence: plant, microbial. fungal, animal, celestial bodies. Her speculative medical papers propose novel forms of body modification to combat gender dysphoria as well as playfully explore the possible efficacy of including fecal matter transplants as part of hormone replacement therapy for transgender individuals.

Collaborative work made for the show, Solar Coochie
Collaborative solar powered work made for the show, Solar Coochie, “Moon in the Spoon” being tested.
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  1. […] Umico Niwa spoke to us from Richmond, Virginia where she just graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media. Despite the pandemic, Niwa says this has been a surprisingly good time for her and her partner, Peat Szilagyi, to make work in the studio. They have just completed a body of work that has just been shipped for exhibition at Holding Contemporary in Portland, Oregon. The title of the show is Solar Coochie and it explores solar punk – a genre that imagines a future where we can subsist off of solar and other forms of renewable energy and reside in biosphere dwellings. There are many intersections to the work of Niwa and Szilagyi; Niwa’s work has focused on plant life as offering a different mode of gender/identity/expression/sexuality or a different mode of existing. To hear more about this work and more from Umico Niwa, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. […] Umico Niwa spoke to us from Richmond, Virginia where she just graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with an MFA in Sculpture and Extended Media. Despite the pandemic, Niwa says this has been a surprisingly good time for her and her partner, Peat Szilagyi, to make work in the studio. They have just completed a body of work that has just been shipped for exhibition at Holding Contemporary in Portland, Oregon. The title of the show is Solar Coochie and it explores solar punk – a genre that imagines a future where we can subsist off of solar and other forms of renewable energy and reside in biosphere dwellings. There are many intersections to the work of Niwa and Szilagyi; Niwa’s work has focused on plant life as offering a different mode of gender/identity/expression/sexuality or a different mode of existing. To hear more about this work and more from Umico Niwa, listen to the complete interview. […]