On the one year anniversary, a photo exhibition in memory of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
There are live music by Water Brain, （performer : Bomb Sun, Mike Wilson, Nick Chen, Jun Ando) and an appearance by Stu Levy, director of the documentary film “Pray For Japan.”
Mr. Shiroma will donate the proceeds of all photo and poster sales to the Taylor Anderson Memorial Gift Fund, created in memory of a young American English teacher perished in the tsunami.
– Updated on March 11 – We received this message from Andy Anderson, Taylor’s father, which was read by Bridget O’Neill who is a friend of Anderson’s family on the opening event.
Watch the video shown at the annual dinner for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York on Nov. 15, 2011. Taylor received their Luminary Award.
About the Artist
Mr. Isami Shiroma grew up in Shuri, and graduated as a member of the first graduating class from Konan High School. After receiving a full USCAR (United States Civil Administration of Ryukyus) scholarship, he graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1970. He was among the first group of Okinawan students to receive this undergraduate scholarship.
After graduation, Isami san traveled for eighteen months around the United States, Central and South America, taking photographs. He settled in Colombia for 5 years, taking photographs, teaching karate at the Naval Academy, and teaching Statistics at Universidad Atlantico. His first son, Koichi (now 36) was born in Barranquilla, Colombia.
The family moved to New York City in 1976 where his second son, Seiji (now 33) was born. Isami san continued taking photographs and teaching karate. He became a member of Soho Photo Gallery, and exhibited his photos there. One of his photos, taken in Hawaii, was purchased by collector Allan Chasanoff, and was included in the exhibit “First Doubt,” at the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as in the companion book published in 2008 by the Yale University Press. It is now part of the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
In South America, Isami san had been a respected karate sensei and college professor, but when he first came to New York he was forced to work in a Japanese restaurant, with hardly a weekend off, to support his young family. It was very difficult, but he can joke about it now. Luckily, one of his karate students, a jewelry business owner, introduced him to the jewelry business. This gave him a chance to stop washing dishes and making tempura. He worked for this student for about three years, before starting his own business. After a few years dealing in new and antique jewelry he became interested in antique wristwatches, and has made that his specialty ever since.
He was featured in OTV’s “The World’€™s Okinawan Series” twice. He moved to Westchester, NY in 1994 just before his daughter, Yumi (now 15), was born.
Isami san also has three grandsons; one is 5 and two are 2-year-olds. Isami san still travels to Colombia occasionally to teach karate and take photos. He visited there in 1973 and 1975, and again in the fall of 2009. He is planning to go again very soon. Isami san has had two exhibits of his photos in Okinawa at private art galleries, one in March 1989 and another in September 1991. His dream is to have his own photograph exhibition in the Okinawan Art Museum.
大器晩成 切磋琢磨 Sound in Mind & Body —it’s You, Isami Sensei ! チバリヨ～ヤッチ～！