Jarod Polakoff

Selected Work:

Familiar Alien
Untitled Feeling
Constructing, Connecting
Hapa Directory

Jarod Polakoff (b. 2002) is a photographer and image-based artist from Seattle, WA, currently living in Brooklyn, NY.

Fascinated by the human psyche, Jarod centers his work around emotion,  sensation, and the subconscious, situating the vast tapestry of parallels between interior and exterior experiences at the crux of his photographs.

Jarod received his BFA in Photography & Imaging with a double major in Art History from New York University.


Hapa Directory (2021)

Hapa Directory showcases the individual stories and experiences of mixed race, East Asian identifying people in New York City. For many, including myself, being multiracial often entails a feeling of dissonance between two important aspects of one’s identity, an in-between-ness that can be uncomfortable and isolating. Being not fully one thing or another is perhaps the only commonality binding the nebulous demographic of “mixed race.”

The Hawaiian term Hapa refers to individuals who are of mixed ethnic ancestry, and is often used to specifically describe those who are part Asian. Through creating a virtual “directory” of Hapa individuals and their unique experiences, I hope to uncover what is distinctly beautiful about being multiethnic; the convergence of cultures that so many mixed race individuals experience culminates in a form of individuality that is often empowering, even liberating. Inspired by the documentary photographic work of Kip Fulbeck, Hapa Directory is a space for multiethnic East Asian individuals to exist, share, and reflect on these experiences.

Anna Edelman

“I feel very connected to my surroundings, which is unusual. I'm used to feeling kind of pushed into my surroundings, rather than accepted into them. Even just walking around and knowing that there's just so much going on, it's like I'm less visible. But that's a good thing.”


Ari Elgharsi

“I think as a general thing, this next generation is going to be the most diverse generation considering how many first generation kids are in this country. And so I think mixes like mine are going to become a lot more common in the future. I just think this is the beginning of something.”


Carmen Alvarez

“I love [living in New York City] because I'll see strangers and I'm like, ‘oh my gosh, I kind of look like you,’ you know, like feeling recognized in other people is interesting. Even if they're strangers just passing by or getting a coffee, I'm like, wow, I really fit in because no one fits in. Everyone looks different and I'm part of that, which is great.”


Conor Jackson

“Mixed [Asian] people do have privilege over a lot of Asian Americans, and I think when you're mixed, you can kind of see that a lot more. And even like [full] Asian people might not see it, and white people, I mean, half the time they deny it. But when you're mixed, you can really see how aspects of being white do have some benefits in society. ”


Maddie Provost

“I think that being mixed is definitely kind of like having an identity crisis every time you see your family and talk about your identity, and I think that's very different from my parents' experiences.”


Yudi Feng

“I think I'm starting to figure out my relationship with China, like outside of my family, which has been really nice and has contributed a lot to seeing myself as my own entity and as someone who has an experience that is distinctly their own.”