Megumi Shauna Arai
In the summer of 2015, artist Megumi Shauna Arai traveled to Shikoku, Japan, with the help of the Prairie Underground Grant, to work in a 300 year old traditional paper making studio. This body of work is a culmination of the materials she collected, imagery she shot, and traditional craft practices that inspired and influenced her.
Megumi Shauna Arai is a biracial artist and freelance commercial photographer. Her work explores identity, intimacy, beauty, and imperfection. She currently is an artist in residence at The Photographic Center Northwest. Her first solo exhibit was Terra Incognita at Glass Box Gallery in 2014. She is a Vignettes artist and has exhibited at Out of Sight, Greg Kucera Gallery, and SOIL. Megumi has been commissioned by the Office of Arts and Culture and Aktionsart. Her work has been profiled on Featureshoot, Humble Arts Foundation and The Henry Art Gallery.
She saw Philip Glass perform in Los Angeles last year and nothing will ever be the same.
MEGUMI SHAUNA ARAI x Prairie Underground, 2016
Prairie Underground is a company that has been formed and guided by a sustained engagement with art. The community that inspired our company name was a group of activists, artists and musicians. Creators and social innovators remain our most potent muses and collaborators in understanding our human experience.
In 2014 through a series of email and text messages we initiated a project that funds the creation of new work for emerging artists. The program provides a stipend for artists to create a series of work in their chosen medium that incorporates items from our collection. Sample garments the artist selects can be used in any manner they desire. Prairie Underground’s products essentially become artist’s materials.
It is important that the work is not approached or produced as marketing for our company. Work produced should continue each artist’s individual artistic inquiry. The series they make remains the possession of the creator while we are allowed unlimited rights to share and promote the work.
Supporting art remains a compelling act to promote social justice on the level of the individual. The importance of art in society will take a prominent place alongside our environmental concerns. By investing in the production of new art and inviting artists into our design process we hope to create more precious clothing and ultimately a better world.