KOKO’s Love: A Soap Opera Tale of One Family


2015 National Open Call winner Yoshie Sakai’s
KOKO’s Love: A Soap Opera Tale of One Family

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 9
On view: July 9 – August 7

Touchdown! KOKO’s Love has landed with an exciting cast of characters from and inspired by New Orleans for the premiere of its long-awaited Episode 2, about the ongoing saga of one Japanese-American family with their overbearing patriarch, Hiroshi, a liquor store owner in South Central Los Angeles, and his annoying insistence on having a male heir. KOKO’s Love is an original East-Asian/Asian-American hybrid soap opera series that re-imagines the melodramatic tropes of TV dramas to challenge the myth of the “model minority” and reveal the guise of superficial “perfection” of being both Asian-American and a woman. It has various manifestations as a video installation and changes form dependent on the related videos and the space. For this exhibit, Antenna will be transformed into a psychological playhouse for the everyday doubts, anxieties, and hopes that come from living.

The KOKO’s Love series originated from the artist’s interest in the quotidian, and since moving back home with her mother, she has been immersed in how her 82-year-old, first-generation Japanese mother entertains herself, which is by watching hours of East-Asian soap operas daily because it is “what she lives for.” The melodramatic and highly addictive narrative genre of the soap opera fascinates her, not only for its outrageous characters and scenarios, but also for how it touches upon the most fundamental emotions and at times spews familiar life lessons and moral clichés that are highly accessible.