born in New York, is a visual artist and printmaker concerned with issues of cultural identity. Arai, who lives and works in New York, is a third-generation Japanese-American, grandaughter of Japanese farmers who settled in the U.S. in the early 1900's. She began her career as a muralist and then used printmaking as a way to investigate cultural imagery and the representation of Asian Americans. Arai's collaborative installations employ autobiography, family stories, photographs, historical material and oral histories in an examination of cultural diversity. Arai has participated in numerous residencies and completed pubic art projects throughout the United States. She has created outdoor installations in New York including Back to the Garden, a faceted glass panorama of indigenous seasonal plants and trees, commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit Program and permanently installed at the Pelham Parkway Station, Bronx, NY. Arai has also designed public art works for Creative Time, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The General Services Administration's Art in Architecture Program for which she designed a mural to commemorate the African Burial Ground in NYC.
Her work is included in collections including the Library of Congress, the Avon Corporate Collection, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Japanese American National Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. She has exhibited widely including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY; Chinatown History Museum, New York, NY; Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY; and the CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Her awards and residencies include the Longwood Cyber Residency and Exhibition Program; the Anonymous Was A Woman Award; the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship for Works on Paper; and the Creative Time Citywide Grant, Memories of New York Chinatown Banner Project.