Japanese-born Lieh Sugai is a New York-based artist who explores cultural traditions around the world. Her subject matter is the stories that occur between people and places, and how they are shaped by time, memory and culture. In this she uses her dual perspective as a Japanese immigrant living in America, exploring and documenting her two homes.
Lieh studied Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, where photography became her prevailing passion, as a way to enter inside different cultures, tell stories and push the boundaries of her creativity.
Her work has been exhibited at Foley Gallery and others around New York City, and internationally.
Overlooking the Miho Bay in Mihonoseki, Izumo Province, an ancient port town closely associated with mythology and located on the eastern tip of the Shimane Peninsula, in the Sea of Japan.
In the words of Japan’s first Nobel laureate, Hideki Yukawa: “Mihonoseki is one of the few places where you can find the roots of the Japanese soul.”
The night before the Aofushigaki Ritual at Miho Shrine. The man responsible for the lantern touch keeps the fire alive during the ceremony.
Surrounded by the rich forest of the Shimane Peninsula and overlooking Miho Bay, Miho Shrine is the head of more than 3,000 dedicated to Ebisu, divinity of the sea, merchants and music.
This small town of Mihonoseki is home to many rituals. Two of the most important ones are based on stories in the Kojiki (“Record of Ancient Matters”), the oldest existing record of Japanese mythology.