Press Office Exhibition

SFMOMA Presents "Kinship: Photography And Connection" Featuring Nearly 80 Mesmerizing Works by Six Contemporary Artists

New Photography Exhibition Explores the Artists’ Deep Relationships with Friends, Family, Community and the Natural World

Released: February 21, 2023 · Download (314 KB PDF)

Press Preview: Wednesday, May 17, 9:30a.m.–12:30p.m.

May 20–November 26, 2023

San Francisco, CA (February 21, 2023, updated May 23, 2023)―The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces Kinship: Photography and Connection, featuring six contemporary photographers whose work results from deep relationships including friendship, ties to place, to community and beyond. On view at SFMOMA from May 20 through November 26, 2023, Kinship: Photography and Connection brings together over 80 captivating works by photographers who share a special affinity with their subjects: Farah Al Qasimi, Mercedes Dorame, Jarod Lew, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Deanna Templeton. Whether the connections explored in their photographs are familial, platonic, romantic, cultural or geographic, relationships are fundamental to each artist’s practice. Four of the six photographers — Dorame, Sanguinetti, Sepuya and Templeton — live in California.

“One of SFMOMA’s key institutional priorities is to foster deep connections with our community. Works from the diverse range of artists presented in Kinship beautifully illustrate the power of meaningful relationships and encourage connections with the art and with one another,” said Christopher Bedford, Helen and Charles Schwab Director of SFMOMA. “The distinct perspectives of this group of artists — from California and beyond — come together in celebration of kinship, and the many ways it can manifest.”

“After three years of feeling distant from people during the COVID-19 pandemic, I respond to the genuine feeling and connection to others in this work, and I hope visitors will, too,” added Erin O’Toole, Curator and Head of Photography at SFMOMA.


Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Black Cloud, 2000; courtesy the artist; © Alessandra Sanguinetti
Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror (_2140603), 2018; courtesy the artist, Bortolami Gallery, New York, DOCUMENT, Chicago, and Vielmetter Los Angeles; © Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Black Cloud, 2000; courtesy the artist; © Alessandra Sanguinetti
Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Darkroom Mirror (_2140603), 2018; courtesy the artist, Bortolami Gallery, New York, DOCUMENT, Chicago, and Vielmetter Los Angeles; © Paul Mpagi Sepuya


In Kinship: Photography and Connection, each of the six artists will have a dedicated gallery to present photographs from a single series or a selection of work drawn from across their practice.

Deanna Templeton (b. 1969, Huntington Beach), a lifelong resident of Huntington Beach, California, is known for black-and-white street photographs documenting life in suburban Southern California. Templeton’s series What She Said pairs diary entries from her teenage years with photographs of young women whose grit and resilience is reminiscent of herself at that age. Teenage girls are frequently disparaged in American culture, but Templeton connects to her young subjects, and her photography treats them with respect and reverence.

Alessandra Sanguinetti (b. 1968, New York) has photographed two cousins in rural Argentina for over 20 years, documenting their complex relationship to each other and to the place where they live. In Kinship, Sanguinetti will present a selection of work from over the long course of this moving and beautiful project, which she calls The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and The Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams. Born in New York to an American mother and an Argentine father, Sanguinetti lived in Argentina from the age of two until relocating to the Bay Area in 2002.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernadino) photographs friends and lovers — as well as himself — exploring desire and the construction of queer spaces. Turning traditional modes of photographic portraiture on its head, Sepuya only photographs people he knows, and the way the pictures come about is playful and casual. His work in the studio emerges from his interest in the history of art making spaces where the creative, social and sexual intermingle, creating unexpected results.

The lyrical pictures of Mercedes Dorame (b. 1980, Los Angeles) forge a dialogue with her Indigenous ancestors and the places they lived. Dorame is of Gabrielino-Tongva heritage, Indigenous people who were the first to inhabit the area that is now Los Angeles, Malibu and San Bernadino. For her new body of work titled Everywhere is West, Dorame photographs tidal spaces her ancestors traversed in the Channel Islands, invoking the invisible past.

Jarod Lew (b. 1987, Detroit) explores constructions of Asian American identity in a suburban context. His series Please Take Off Your Shoes includes portraits of young second-generation Asian Americans as they navigate the expectations of their immigrant parents and their own American experience. Lew was inspired by the revelation that his mother had been the fiancée of Vincent Chin when he was murdered by two autoworkers on the night of his bachelor party in 1982. Chin’s death and the lenient punishment given to his murderers galvanized Asian American activism around civil rights and anti-hate crime legislation.

Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991, Abu Dhabi) lives in New York City and photographs regularly in the United Arab Emirates, where she grew up. In her work, she draws from her experience growing up in a fast-growing city where the natural balance has grown more precarious over time. Her bold, distinctive photographs feature human and animal subjects, often gesturing towards the kinship and power dynamics between them. Al Qasimi frequently installs framed works on vinyl photographic wallpaper, which creates layered patterns in kaleidoscopic color.



Join us for a talk between activist, journalist and author Helen Zia and artist Jarod Lew, whose work is featured in Kinship: Photography and Connection on Saturday, May 20 at 3 p.m. In partnership with the Center for Asian American Media, this talk is presented as part of CAAMFEST 2023, one of the nation’s largest and enduring showcases for Asian and Asian American films. Since 1982, the annual festival has been an important launching point for Asian American independent filmmakers as well as a vital source for new Asian cinema.



Major support for Kinship: Photography and Connection is provided by the Lisa Stone Pritzker Family Fund. Generous support is provided by The Black Dog Private Foundation, Katie Hall and Tom Knutsen, Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman, and Kate and Wes Mitchell. Additional support is provided by James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen Endowment Fund and Christopher and Michele Meany.



Annual membership begins at $120, and members enjoy free admission and priority ticketing for special exhibitions with advanced reservations, as well as complimentary guest passes (varies by membership level). Adult general admission to SFMOMA is $25; admission for seniors 65 years and older is $22; and admission for visitors ages 19 through 24 is $19. General Admission and special exhibitions for all visitors 18 years and younger is free.

For local Bay Area residents, SFMOMA’s First Thursdays offer free admission from 1–8 p.m. On Free Family Days, general admission to the museum is free for up to four adults accompanying one child or teen (18 and younger). For information about other free and discounted admission programs, please visit sfmoma.org/deals-discounts.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Fridays through Tuesdays and 1–8 p.m. on Thursdays (closed Wednesdays). Current visitor information can be found at sfmoma.org/visit.



San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the United States and a thriving cultural center for the Bay Area. Our remarkable collection of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts is housed in a LEED Gold-certified building designed by the global architects Snøhetta and Mario Botta. In addition to our seven gallery floors, SFMOMA now offers over 62,000 square feet of free, art-filled public space open to all.


Visit sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.

Follow us on Twitter for updates and announcements: @SFMOMA_Press

Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Rebecca Herman 415.357.4174 rherman@sfmoma.org
Alex Gill 415.357.4170 agill@sfmoma.org