Denise Uyehara is an internationally presented performance artist, writer and playwright. She investigates themes of individual and collective memory, and what marks the body as it travels across borders of identity.
Recent works include Shooting Columbus, in collaboration with Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from the Southwest region, and Dreams and Silhouettes/Sueños y siluetas, with Pan Left Productions and an ensemble informed by interviews with local residents who live under the constant fear of deportation in South Tucson. Earlier work focused on Asian American and queer identity, and she was a founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls.
Currently she is developing a new work with James Luna (Luiseno) entitled Atmospheric Rituals in which they test their DNA, and question what makes someone an “authentic” Indigenous and Okinawan.
She is the recipient of numerous awards including support from the MAP Fund, National Performance Network, Asian Arts Council and the City of Los Angeles, P.L.A.C.E./Kresge, and Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her earlier work is documented in Maps of City & Body: Shedding Light on the Performance and Process of Denise Uyehara (Kaya Press, 2004). Uyehara holds an M.F.A. from the Department of World Arts & Cultures from UCLA, and has lectured widely. She served as the Grants Program Manager for The Arts Foundation (formerly the Tucson Pima Arts Council).