Future Potential of Dreams, April - May 2017
Los Angeles, CA

Future Potential of Dreams features photographic work by artists Megumi Shauna Arai, Yael Nov and Serrah Russell as they transform and manipulate the physicality of the image as a way to investigate its power and potential in manipulating memory, as both dreams and facts emerge.

We are three women, raised in Seattle, using art as a means of investigating our experience in the surrounding landscape, both wild and temperate, city and sanctuary. Adding external senses to the photographic image, including language, scent, and taste, we harness the potential of the image to capture and contain the memories of the past, present and future. We manipulate, collage, contrast, and dissect and we make these images our own.

Megumi Shauna Arai
Yael Nov
Serrah Russell


In making these works I dive into the personal and the universal. My source material was gleaned from my family’s collection of slides from before I was born in 1986 and a collection of National Geographic magazines from a time too long ago for me to remember. Both of these set of images have shaped me. I was born into a world of images, and without my knowing, they have given eyes to my way of seeing and have shaped my upbringing. I crop and re-photograph these images, turning them into Polaroids, scanning and digitizing them, enlarging, mirroring, and reversing them. As I spend time with these images, cleaning them, transforming and recontextualizing them, the work becomes a form of meditation, as I make them my own. These images are mine, not fully, but more mine than they were before. But they are also yours. The images that fill our past transform us in our present and soon become our future, if we let them.

Serrah Russell has lived in Washington state for as long as she can remember where she continues to make her home and work . She holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Washington. Her practice is a constant exploration of the photographic image and its ability to evoke memory, emotion and association. Using instant film, digital photography and pre-existing photographic material, Russell creates works of collage, sculpture and video that alter the original intention of the source material. Her work explores ideas of loss, empathy, ways of seeing, and the emotions found between subject and surrounding. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Pacific Northwest, as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia; Melbourne, Australia; London, England; Athens, Greece; and New York, NY.



Scent is the strongest sensory link to memory and emotion with the power to transport you to a time, place, or person. Just as a photograph makes present a moment from the past, scent has the ability to manipulate time and evoke emotions from another place. I attempt to transform landscapes through the visual and olfactory; these landscapes of my birth, travels, family history, and home. A particular dense green with the scent of fir needle becomes my parent’s garden in Seattle, the warm yellow afternoon light and a delicate balance of cigarettes and orange blossom become Tel Aviv. While these connections may be my own, each viewer will have their own associations, allowing for an intimate and ever changing experience and the potential for the creation of a new memory linked to this moment.

Yael Nov is a Seattle native now living and working in Los Angeles. After completed her BFA and BA at University of Washington, Yael received her MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Working in images and installation, she examines the inextricable ties between fragility and strength, materiality and the ephemeral, blurring the lines between them. Informed by her family’s history and her time living in Israel, landscape, memory, and the body become sites for this examination of opposing forces. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Pacific Northwest and California.



A Piece is a collection of 9 panels that fit together to make a whole.  This work is the beginning of a longer process of exploring ideas of gathering, division and unexpected interaction.  The tapestry is to be sold separately panel by panel. Once the entirety of the work is sold, I plan on hosting a dinner at my studio conceived by myself and a chef  themed around the artwork with the 9 people who own a part of a whole. I am interested in exploring alternatives to the typical buying methods and the financial and class gateways that accompany art collecting.  Interested individuals will be asked to pay the amount they are able to add to the collective pot that will ultimately buy the entire piece. This is an experiment, an extended version of a sliding scale based on goodwill.  Please contact info@megumiarai.com for more information on this process.

Megumi Shauna Arai is a self-taught Japanese and Jewish multidisciplinary artist working in photography, performance, and the reinterpretation of craft and tradition into a contemporary conceptual context.  She grew up living off and on in Seattle and Tokyo with a cultural anthropologist mother and economist father. With a mixed race and cultural identity, the artist is drawn to investigating assimilation and resistance, othering and social disconnection in the present day.  She has shown in Seattle, Portland, NYC, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. Her work has been commissioned by both nonprofit and commercial clients and collected across the country. In 2015 she traveled to Shikoku, Japan for an intensive residency in traditional papermaking and was an Artist in Residence at the Photographic Center Northwest in 2016.  She will be featured in a group show at the Bainbridge Island Art Museum this summer and attending a residency at Haystack School of Craft where she will be working on her upcoming show at the Wing Luke Museum in 2018.