Yoshie Sakai's work creates an uneasy environment that embodies her love-hate relationship with consumerism and pop culture and how they simultaneously perpetuate both ecstasy and extreme anxiety in quotidian life. In Sakai's videos, the artist acts as an undercover agent trying to expose the absurdities of a manipulative social structure while at the same time humorously struggling and reveling in it as a participant.
Sakai's process includes performance- often creating characters that function as avatars that act out responses to contemporary society, addressing the social, cultural, and personal. The artist induces intimate situations between her created personalities and the audience by staging the videos within installations that are pushed to exaggerated and imaginative levels. The videos and installations infiltrate the psychological and physical space of the viewer, giving form to a sort of vulnerability – a nervous laughter.
People often ask Yoshie Sakai, “Why are you so happy all of the time?” and her response is “It’s better than crying.” Ultimately, in Sakai's work is the continued exploration of humor as a complicated intersection where hope, happiness, anxiety, and darkness reside much like our society, a tension-filled existence of both criticality and complacency.