Satomi Shirai was born in Tokyo and received a B.A. at Musashino Art University in Tokyo. She worked as a freelance photographer until moving to New York in 2004. She is now pursuing an M.F.A. at City University of New York, Hunter College. Of her work she says, ‘Since I started semi-immigrant life, I have experienced two worlds, with two different cultures and systems: that of Tokyo/Japan and that of New York. I came to perceive things in both of these worlds by comparing each one. In my work, the presence of certain objects questions my memories, and my understanding, or lack thereof, of the world I inhabit. I enjoy exploring environmental portraits with photography. I use architectural spaces and arrange a sitter’s personal items that can tell more about his or her life, interests, identity, and so forth. I hope to document the sitter’s state of mind with his or her facial expression and gestures in his or her living space, and try to create an experience of a moment that is in between everyday life and the extraordinary’.