La Source Magazine Interview:
I got Interviewed by La Source (French Magazine)
« Ayant grandi dans une petite ville de pêcheurs au Japon, je trouve la mer toujours présente quelque part dans mon cœur. Maintenant, je regarde à nouveau l’océan, de l’autre côté de l’océan où j’ai grandi. »
Magazine is in French, so, here is the content of the interview in English.
- Your new exhibition, “Drifter” seems to be about internal journey and solo travel to the inner peace. What inspired those new artworks?
- How did you choose the name for this exhibition?
The Japanese title of my show means “Drifter” in English, which refers to drifting on the surface of the water, and literally “going with the flow”.
The sense of slow movement across water offers some hope that my imagination shall be released and my soul can travel. This release is connected to many levels of our closed livelihoods and semi-isolation during the pandemic.
During our uncertain time, people feel they can’t go anywhere. But now can we actually let ourselves flow freely? Stay tuned.
Cast away, letting go, my mind and body are so light that I am floating. I can go anywhere I want. This is my fantasy.
- What does the young girl in your artworks represent?
The little girl in me who is still learning how to be in this world.
She is still shy and not confident to come out. When I draw, she becomes more confident and gregarious. Slowly growing, she experiences more of the world.
- How did the pandemic affect your work? Your inspiration?
Often my painting reflects travel to a world I don’t know, which then can reveal more of my roots and identity. During the pandemic I suddenly wanted to visit a city I had never been to and of course I couldn’t go anywhere, but I was able to travel within my imagination.
- What techniques did you use for this exhibition?
- What drew you to using ink?
My pieces are mixed media. I teach computer animation at an art school and specialize in computers, so I use it as an art production tool. But all the originals are drawn in watercolor, and then each part is digitized and finished on computer.
- You studied fashion but also design: how does it affect your artwork?
I studied fashion illustration at a fashion school. I am also interested in textile design, and I think that is reflected in the pattern of clothes in my paintings.
- How and when did you choose to become an Artist? Or did your personal journey just take you on that road?
When I was three years old, my father taught me how to draw a star, and at that moment I felt I’d received a gift and path I should follow. Although there were obstacles such as the opposition of my family and the fact that I was a woman going abroad from a small town, my dream of becoming an artist never wavered, and I’m still striving (toward those goals).
- Could you talk about one artwork that really resonated with you and why? Or an artwork that you perceived differently after looking at it a few times or working more on it?
Re: I look the ocean from here and there
Growing up in a small fisherman’s town in Japan, the sea is always rippling somewhere in my heart. Now I’m looking at the ocean again, from the other side of the ocean from where I grew up. I’m thinking of using this picture, as well as some ideas from Drifter, to draw my next illustrated book, but it’s a secret right now!
The Drifter exhibit is at Out & About in Gastown until the end of June. If you missed it, it will be exhibited from July to September at a shop called Parthenon (3089 W Broadway) in Kitsilano.
In October I’ll be showing at a popular Tokyo gallery called Space Yui.
- Let me know what your preferred pronouns and title are.
she/her after searching the answer to this question after many years😉
Read more about Interview Sleepless Kao by La Source in French
English translation ver.