Yumi Janairo Roth disrupts the familiar, re-contextualizing everyday objects to function as both natives and interlopers in their environments. Stacked Datsun utilizes wooden pallets, the workhorses of domestic and international shipping—continuously recycled, constantly traveling, transporting hundreds of pounds of goods from destination to destination and always separated from their point of origin. Subverting the functionalism of international shipping with the design language of architecture and furniture, Roth’s pallets are painstakingly inlaid with mother of pearl. These objects suggest a number of interpretations, including how we value labor as well as ideas about memory, immigration and displacement.
Yumi Janairo Roth was born in Eugene, OR and raised in Chicago and Washington DC. She currently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado where she is a professor of sculpture and post-studio practice at the University of Colorado. Yumi has created a diverse body of work that explores ideas of immigration, hybridity, and displacement through discrete objects and site-responsive installations, solo projects as well as collaborations. In her projects, her objects function as both natives and interlopers to their environments, simultaneously recognizable and unfamiliar to their users. She received a BA in anthropology from Tufts University, a BFA from the School for the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston and an MFA from the State University of New York-New Paltz. She has exhibited and participated in artist-in-residencies nationally and internationally, including New York (Bronx River Art Center, Sara Meltzer Gallery, Momenta Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon, Cuchifritos), San Francisco (Limn Gallery), Portland (Institute of Contemporary Art, Map Room) Houston (Lawndale Art Center, Diverse Works), Boston (New Art Center), Denver/Aspen (Rule Gallery, Center for Visual Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art, Aspen Art Museum), Minneapolis (Soap Factory), Milwaukee (Instituteof Visual Arts, Kohler Arts/Industry), Santa Fe (Museum of Fine Arts), Seattle (Consolidated Works), Mexico (Arcaute Arte Contemporaneo, La Galleria RufinoTamayo), the Philippines (Ayala and Vargas Museums), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) Czech Republic (Galerie Klatovy-Klenova, Institute of Art and Design-Pilsen), and Germany (Frankfurter Kunstverein).