Jo Kami

“Continuous Effort”


We have all suffered a certain struggle in our lives: Times of lost hope and the quest for a greater truth. My experience with mainstream culture has kept me blinded from the origins of existence, resulting in a fixed lifestyle promoting avenues toward unfulfillment. Being completely immersed in the divinity of nature is a feat unparalleled on Earth. Soon I began to understand the underlying intelligence at work—always creating and ever-changing. My feelings of deep anxiety, akin to being lost in an infinite sea, emerged from the unfulfilled life. Nature is my ultimate alarm clock. We are the rose that grew from concrete, reaching for the stars.


Born of Japanese and Iraqi descent, I moved to the United States at the age of two. Enduring both identity and citizenship issues, I began to look beyond surface level assumptions and awakened to a unified vision of reality. Self taught in photography and filmmaking, I explore the internal journey of transforming pain into beauty, while preserving one’s true colors in a black-and-white world.

Selected by Julia Dolan, Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum.