Colombian-born Ximena Garnica and Japan-native Shige Moriya are a multidisciplinary artist duo creating works ranging from sculptural, video, light, and mixed-media installation art to contemporary dance and theater performances, publications, and research projects. Their works ponder questions of being, perception, interdependency, and coexistence. Since 2001, Garnica and Moriya’s collaborative works have been presented at leading arts venues such as BAM, HERE, The Brooklyn Museum, Japan Society, Czech Center New York, The New Museum, The Watermill Center, The Asian Museum of San Francisco, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California Riverside; and in large and small public spaces such as Times Square, NYC Astor Place, NYRP Community Gardens, Snug Harbor, Socrates Sculptor Park, and NYC streets, among many other spaces in the US and abroad in Japan, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Colombia. Ximena and Shige are based in Brooklyn at their live-work space, CAVE. They are the co-founders and artistic directors of LEIMAY and the LEIMAY Ensemble. The word LEIMAY is a Japanese term that symbolizes the changing moment between darkness and the light of dawn or the change between one era and another. The LEIMAY Ensemble is a group of dancers and performers who work with Ximena and Shige throughout the year to create body-rooted performances and develop LEIMAY LUDUS, the theory, practices, and aesthetics behind Shige and Ximena’s works.
Shige and Ximena have been presented and received commissions by HERE, PERFORMA, Prototype Festival, Watermill Center, and ALL ARTS. They have collaborated with theater director Robert Wilson, Emmy-award composer Jeff Beal, and Butoh Masters Akira Kasai and the late Ko Murobushi; they have hosted benefit performances in their home studio, CAVE, by NY avant-garde legends Laurie Anderson, Phillip Glass, and Meredith Monk in support of LEIMAY’s community programs and have created small and large-scale visual and performing arts works across mediums for over fifteen years. Their writing has been published by Routledge; Ximena is currently faculty at MIT’s theater department and Marymount Manhattan College, Sarah Lawrence College dance departments. She was recently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California Riverside. Ximena has received the Van Lier Fellowship for extraordinary stage directors. Shige has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Rest Artis, and Scope Art New York. Shige and Ximena have been nominated for the USA Artists Fellowship and the Herb Alpert Award. They have been awarded the 2023 National Dance Project Production Grant, the 2022 NEA award for the creation of their Butoh activities archive, the 2021 NYC Indie Champion Award, the 2020 Cafe Royal Foundation Award, and multiyear grants through LEIMAY from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the NY State Council of the Arts and the Department of Cultural Affairs. They have been the recipients of residencies such as the HERE HARP, Watermill Center, Chelsea Factory (2023), ALL ARTS (2023), MR at the New Museum, and The Bessie Schonberg Residency at The Yard.
Ximena and Shige are advocates of affordable live-work spaces. Their activism was instrumental in affecting changes at the NY State level to protect live-work spaces in New York City. More recently, Ximena, through LEIMAY, co-Founded the Cultural Solidarity Fund, which has provided over $1M in $500 relief microgrants to NYC artists and cultural workers affected by COVID-19. Ximena and Shige continue multiple organizing efforts to sustain what they call the “entanglement,” a loose knot, cluster, or constellation of relationalities -an intention to live a life in poetry.