Wendy Maruyama is an artist and educator from San Diego, California and has been making art since 1970. Trained as a furniture maker, Maruyama uses woodworking techniques to make narrative pieces that resemble dioramas. Since 1994, she has been creating works inspired by the memory of her childhood growing up as a Japanese-American, her interpretation of her ethnic heritage, and her observations of the Japanese culture, looking in from the outside.
Born in La Junta, Colorado, to second-generation Japanese American parents, she has made several pilgrimages to the land of her heritage, Japan. At times reverent of Japan's craft history and advanced technology, and appalled by Japan's self-indulgent, materialistic and almost faceless and patriarchal society, Maruyama vacillates between creating works that both emulate and satirize that culture.
Maruyama's just-completed work, "Executive Order 9066" is hitting closer to home - the work is influenced by personal and family history and addresses the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans in 1942. This event dramatically changed the Japanese American psyche and is to this day is still a vague segment of history to most Americans.
A passionate animal lover since she was a young child, her work is shifting towards the subject of wildlife preservation and advocacy against senseless killings of wild animals.
Awards & Recognitions
- National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship
- California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant