Rika Lin (a.k.a. Fujima Yoshinojo), is a second generation Japanese American performing artist, choreographer, and Grandmaster in Fujima style Japanese classical dance, and has performed in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, as well as within the community and educational outreach programs. An active member of Asian Improv aRts Midwest, she is continuously crafting contemporary awareness with identity and tradition. Awarded the 2017 Links Hall Artistic Associate Curatorial Residency, she presented the "Beyond the Box" Series, which champions female performers. Yoshinojo blends traditional aesthetics fused with contemporary music and movement practices to make traditional dance pieces relevant with 21st century issues of roles and identity.

I believe innovation must first come from a complete immersion in tradition. It then must make an intrepid leap towards another manifestation to remain relevant. Inspiration and identity are grounded by core aesthetics. How does a tradition come into being, and sustain? These inquiries affect how and what I present. It is the impetus for creation and collaboration. The challenge is how to uphold my responsibilities as a Japanese American woman artist in the 21st century while protecting the core aesthetics, and then to provide a living example of the relevance of traditions through my performance. Perspective ultimately affects introspection.

—Rika Lin, Artist Statement


For her project Asobi: Playing within Time, Rika explains the following: "Asobi" or "play", refers to a different conception/perception of time while performing. It is said that an accomplished Japanese classical dancer is able to string the different poses together, and 'play' in between the various points. In "Asobi - Playing within Time", I will be exploring different avenues of choreographic expression with solo/duo/trio performances and the use of traditional props, such as streamers/fans. Movement phrases can become subtle expressions of protest. As the content, music presentation, technological possibilities, and point of existence, i.e. time, is adjusted to the present era, generational as well as gender differences can also be expressed.

To see more, visit yoshinojo.org.

Photos: Kioto Aoki | Tomomi Nagle (headshot) | Ken Carl (purple kimono)

Video: HMS Video