Profile: Saya Woolfalk (1979-)

Saya Woolfalk is a New York-based artist known for her multimedia exploration of hybridity, science, race and sex. Woolfalk uses science fiction and fantasy to reimagine the world in multiple dimensions.


Woolfalk was born in Gifu City, Japan, to a Japanese mother and a mixed race African American and white father. She grew up in Scarsdale, New York and has described that herself as “binational” as a child because of her early childhood spent in Japan, along with frequent visits to the country after moving to the United States. Woolfalk’s “binational” background is very influential to her, making themes of hybridity very prominent in her work.

She has an art studio in Manhattan. Woolfalk was educated at Brown University (B.A. Visual Art and Economics 2001)  and earned her M.F.A. in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. Woolfalk moved to New York in the 2006, to participate in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and was an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem from 2007-2008. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, the anthropologist, Sean T. Mitchell and their daughter Aya Woolfalk Mitchell.

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