May 30, 2023

Hues of Heritage: A Celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Month Featuring Yumi Janairo Roth

Tai Bickham


As we come to the end of May, we continue to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! 

Yumi Janairo Roth has created a diverse body of work that explores ideas of immigration, hybridity, and displacement through discrete objects and site-responsive installations, solo projects as well as collaborations. In her projects, objects function as both natives and interlopers to their environments, simultaneously recognizable and unfamiliar to their users. Roth' work, The Commons: Management Rights, 2020, which explored societies conception of private property and how it is tied to citizenship, was featured in MCA Denver’s 2020 exhibition, Citizenship: A Practice of Society.

We chatted with Yumi in her studio at CU Boulder as part of our Hues of Heritage video series, spotlighting those within our community who create, educate, motivate and encourage exploration. 

headshot of the artist, Yumi Janairo Roth

What do you love about Denver?

I don't think I love or dislike anything about Denver in particular. I think it's more I'm really interested in what Colorado sort of represents. You know, sort of this idea of the American West and what that means and ideas around that. Denver is obviously sort of a central component of that since it sort of emerged in that as well. So, I think it's history. 

What would you want to see more from Denver and Boulder since you currently live here?

Here, Denver or Boulder? You know as an artist, I guess what I'd love to see is more sort of alternative contemporary art spaces, experimental spaces for artists to be able to do different sorts of things. More arts funding that comes from a variety of sources for people to sort of realize a whole range of different projects. Kind of a diverse landscape for artists to practice.

Three words that motivate you? 

I'm gonna go back to a project that Emmanuel and myself are working on, and the project is called We Are Coming. So I'm gonna say “we are coming”. We say it all the time to each other. And it's kind of an embodiment of this group of Filipinos, as well as, our investigation into the project.



Click the video to watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.