(IM)POSSIBLE BABY: Art, Ethics & Biology

April 5, 2024
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Imagine a future where same-sex couples can conceive children genetically related to both parents—as in Ai Hasegawa’s (Im)Possible Baby. Hasegawa, who addresses key societal dilemmas and ethical questions through her speculative design projects, was selected to represent Japan in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. At this talk, hear from Hasegawa about her unique artistic vision, as well as Ilene Gutman, Deputy Director of National and International Outreach at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Moderated by Ayako Weissman, co-chair of the National Museum of Women in the Arts Japan Committee.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is the world’s first museum solely dedicated to championing women through the arts. The museum’s Women to Watch exhibition series is a collaboration between NMWA and its network of outreach committees, located in the US and Canada, as well as in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. 

New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 is the seventh and largest installment of the museum’s Women to Watch series and features works by 28 emerging artists, including Hasegawa. Hasegawa was selected to represent Japan in this international exhibition from a shortlist prepared by the Japan Committee of NMWA and regional curator Tomoko Yabumae. 

“(IM)POSSIBLE BABY: Art, Ethics & Biology,” presented at the Japan Society, is part of a series of programs initiated by the Japan Committee of NMWA in the US and Japan to promote Hasegawa, the artists who were nominated to represent Japan in New Worlds, and NMWA’s mission for gender equity in the arts.

New Worlds imagines a myriad of alternate realities and reflects varied perspectives and cultural viewpoints from women around the globe. The exhibition is on view at the museum in Washington, DC from April 14 through August 11, 2024.

About the Speakers & Moderator

Artist and designer Ai Hasegawa has produced many works emphasizing technology and people as subjects, employing techniques such as Bio Art, Speculative Design and Design Fiction. She obtained her MA in 2012 from the Design Interactions Course, Royal College of Art in Britain; worked as researcher at Design Fiction Group, MIT Media Lab from 2014 to 2016 and received her MS in 2016. She has served as Project Researcher at The University of Tokyo since April 2017. Hasegawa won the Excellence Award at Work Art Division in the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival for her work titled (Im)possible Baby, Case 01: Asako & Moriga.  Hasegawa has also published a design education book, Revolutionary20XX. Her exhibitions in and outside of Japan have been presented by MORI ART MUSEUM and Ars Electronica.  Exhibitions include Mind Temple (MoCA Shanghai), Ars Electronica RADICAL ATOMS, National Museum Design in Kulturhuset Stadsteatern Sweden, Milano Salone Italy, Science Gallery Dublin, Taipei Digital Arts Center and more.

Following her graduation from Parsons School of Design and the New School, Ilene Gutman began working as a freelance illustrator and from 1972-1984 her works were published on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, in The Washington PostAmerican HeritageThe New York Review of Books, Simon and Schuster, NBC and Gourmet Magazine, among others. In 1984, Ilene made a complete career change, joining a group of IP attorneys to start-up an intellectual property research company, Compu-Mark U.S. Within 3 years the company was providing research of trademark information from 155 countries to 5000 U.S. attorneys. Following a successful buy-out of the company, Ilene returned to the arts in 1998. Joining the staff of the National Museum of Women in the Arts as the Director of National and International Affairs, Ilene was tasked to build state and international committee/affiliates and the museums Advisory Board. She became Deputy Director of National and International Affairs in 2008.

Ayako Weissman is the Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, and Director of Asia Strategy at Horizon Kinetics LLC, with over 40 years of investment experience in US and Asian markets. Currently, she co-chairs the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington DC) Japan Committee. Previously, Aya was a founder and the Chief Investment Officer at AS Hirota Capital Management, LLC. Aya’s portfolio management roles include positions at Kingdon Capital Management and Feirstein Hirota Japan Partners. She also held the position of Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager at Salomon Smith Barney Asset Management. Aya serves on the board of Nippon Active Value Fund and previously served on the board of Toshiba Corporation and SBI Holdings. Aya holds an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and a BA in Liberal Arts from International Christian University (ICU). She is a CFA charter holder.

Image: Ai Hasegawa, (Im)Possible Baby, Case 01: Asako & Moriga, 2015; Digital photo prints and videos, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist.

(IM)POSSIBLE BABY: Art, Ethics & Biology is, in part, sponsored by Horizon Kinetics LLC. Additional support is provided by NMWA Japan Committee.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional support for cultural programs is provided by an anonymous donor and the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.

  • Friday, April 5, 2024
  • 6:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Reserved Tickets
  • $16 Nonmembers
  • $12 Members
  • $12 Seniors/Students
  • $12 Person with Disability