KOKO's Love: Episode 3, 2018, Single-channel video, 16:52
KOKO's Love: Episode 3 is the ongoing saga of one Japanese American family with their overbearing patriarch, Hiroshi, a liquor store owner in South Los Angeles, and his annoying insistence on having a male heir. With Episode 3, the search for Hiroshi’s kidnapped daughter Yuki continues with two new characters.
The series re-imagines the melodramatic tropes of TV dramas to challenge the myth of the "model minority" and reveal the guise of superficial "perfection" of being both Asian American and a woman. Loosely autobiographical, Sakai felt it was important to write, produce, direct, and act out all the characters of this dark dramedy. KOKO's Love is a stage for the everyday doubts, anxieties, hopes, and daydreams that come from living while challenging the notion of fictitious and non-fictitious storytelling.
The KOKO’s Love series originated from the artist’s interest in the quotidian, and since moving back home with her mother, she has been immersed in how her 84-year-old, first-generation Japanese mother entertains herself, which is by watching hours of East Asian soap operas daily because it is “what she lives for.” The melodramatic and highly addictive narrative genre of the soap opera fascinates her, not only for its outrageous characters and scenarios, but also for how it touches upon the most fundamental emotions and at times spews familiar life lessons and moral clichés that are highly accessible.