Overseas: 玛丽亚·法拉


Many of the voices of overseas workers are unheard. They are not artists or politicians. They quietly get on with their work because they have a family to support. They are the hidden in this world. Invisible, quiet, but without them society will not function.

Ota Fine Arts is pleased to present Overseas, a solo exhibition by Maria Farrar. This exhibition, her second solo presentation in Japan, will feature around 20 new paintings. Born to a Filipina mother and an English father, Farrar lived in Japan from the age of 2 to 15 and now lives and works in London.


In this exhibition, Farrar focuses on overseas workers and migrants. Farrar’s paintings often feature the back view of female figures. Previously, her women often gaze into shop windows of bakeries and music shops; now, in her new work, they turn their faces towards the sea and beyond or towards the tables that they are about to serve. The room with a terrace (2021) has the most direct reference to working abroad. A chambermaid is depicted polishing a large terrace overlooking the sea. The work portrays a tense moment when the chambermaid notices a guest's dropped earring. Working tirelessly, she has no time to gaze out at the sea nor sigh over nostalgia. Farrar echoes her own mixed feelings of watching her mother work as a 'foreign worker' in Japan and England. The strong contour lines and large margins, which have been prominent features in her previous works, are now overshadowed as Farrar carefully follows the shadows of her subjects.


These new works are the result of a deep sympathy and respect for the loneliness endured while working in a foreign country with a different language and lifestyle. They are also a hymn to the Filipina women who work with pride.