Cute to kill

Screening Sleepless Kao’s short animation at VIVO Media Arts Center, Vancouver, BC

Friday October 28 | 8 – 11 PM | $12/10 | @ VIVO (Main St. × 4th Ave.)

“Cutie no Yume” (cutie’s dream)   5min.18sec.

Everyone called her “Cutie”

She was sometimes stressed about being “Cutie”. She daydreamed to calm down at the end of the day

This describes Japanese girls very well. They often look very cute, polite, and harmless, but inside their bodies, they have as many passionate and evil thoughts as any norman person

The Concept of Kawaii:

Some people call my art kawaii; Japanese for ‘cute’.  I would have to agree, and I think cute things can be for all ages

Kawaii is a big subject. It is as meaningful as any contemporary concept. It is an outside shell, yet when done with precision and purity, contains Pure Love

Little creatures pop out of Kao’s brain around midnight. Recently, they demanded Kao to give them more room, so she put them up onto large canvases. Other creatures would not stop moving, so she made a short animation with them. Come to VIVO to see Kao’s work

Giant Robot

Sleepless Kao participated GR show

Year of the Rabbit Show, Giant Robot, Los Angeles, CA, 2011

Printed Matter 8, Giant Robot, New York, NY, 2010

Giant Robot Biennale 2, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2009

GR Anniversary Show, Giant Robot, San Francisco, CA, 2009

Free to a Good Home, Giant Robot, Los Angeles, CA, 2009

Year of the OX Show, Giant Robot, Los Angeles, CA, 2009

Tree Show, Giant Robot, San Francisco, CA, 2008

Game Over, Giant Robot, San Francisco, CA, 2008

Year of the Rat Show, Giant Robot, Los Angeles, CA, 2008

About GR:
Giant Robot Store established in 2001 features art/Asian Pop Culture products

GR2 Gallery features art exhibitions by notable artists like Katsuya Terada, Luke Chueh, David Choe, Mari Inukai, Deth P Sun, Rob Sato, Ako Castuera, Sean Chao, Yoskay Yamamoto, Uglydoll, and countless others

Kinokuniya Design Competition:

I won the Kinokuniya Book Store U.S.  Gift Card Design Competition

Kao’s designer gift card is available at Kinokuniya store in the US

HELLA THANKS!! exhibition:
Friday, Oct. 7th 2011
The submitted art work is showing at Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA





My First Book Launch








次作もがんばる  :)

Ura Monchan

The exhibition, Sleepless Kao: Ura Monchan, which runs March 4 – 27, is held just ahead of the release of Kao’s first children’s book, Monchan’s Bag, published by Simply Read Books. Both Ura Monchan and Monchan’s Bag feature the character Monchan, created by Kao ten years ago as a kind of avatar. Monchan reflects the artist’s struggles of acceptance and sense of self as a landed immigrant in Canada. On the surface, Monchan is the epitome of calmness, but on the inside, Monchan faces emotional turmoil, just like the artist. As part of the residency, Kasai will also curate FLIM night on Friday, March 26, where Kao’s selection of films and new works produced during her residency at Blim will be presented

more about Sleepless @ Blim

Georgia Straight Newspaper

Ricepaper Magazine

By Land, Sea and Air:

A vancouver BC artist showcase at Compound Gallery, Portland, OR
Feb. 4th – Feb 28th 2010 | Reception: Feb 4th @ 7:00pm



Faraway Closer

Video/Animation screening at Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver, BC

Introduction to Faraway Closer

 Faraway Closeris an animated video project sharing my experience of being an artist while living with my parents in Japan, feeling the nature around my hometown, reflecting on photos taken by my father who is a “semipro “photographer, and exploring some of my own paintings. My father and I use different media for our creations, but is there a theme we share? The making of this piece is like a first true communication between us after all these years of tension and faraway living

Story Narrative

 A father and daughter who resemble each otherbehave like odd twins when living together. Our love and respect for each other seems to be forgotten; we do not understand each other’s lifestyle nor the other person’s ways of thinking, so we always end up colliding/arguing. Gradually our love and hate relationship goes to the extreme as we can’t be in the same room breathing the same air

After a I go overseas to live, our relationship seems to keep its (healthy) balance, but at a distance; each of us becomes able to see the other more rationally, as two adults. Returning to live at home for an extended period brings up so much from the past that it is an intense time, and a clearer reflection of both of us, our relationship, emerges slowly. The images and narratives within Faraway Closer are a synthesis of this journey between the two of us, in search of a new language to understand each another’s creative lives and dreams

Duet at Film festival:

Screening Sleepless Kao’s animated short “Duet” at San Francisco’s Asian American Film Festival and AAIFF (NY)

Sora and Sarsaparilla, is a two-girl story. These ‘flannel graphic’ characters, they are literally living on a song which is performed by the Vancouver indie group “Mimi’s Ami”, meaning that the creation of my animated video narrative was inspired by, and also illustrates, their great music

However, my two girls grew alive and independent as soon as they were made, so now they exist as themselves in this world; they are based on a quirky friendship: me and my wish for another me to be my best pal

I want to share with someone who remembers playing as a child, how easy it was to keep yourself company and be one’s own best friend if there wasn’t anyone else around. As an adult, this is a valuable memory to me about taking care of myself when maybe I feel afraid of being alone. I don’t want to lose this important soul in my life!

Interviewed by ”rice paper” Magazine, Vancouver, BC

-Kelly Osbourne has touted her cheeky evil dolls a “must-have”. Her art has won international recognition with features in Hong Kong’s Milk magazine, the Washington Post, Vancouver Courier and Loop Magazine. Ricepaeper’s Alan Woo goes on a mission to find out what makes this artist tick, and falls through a tunnel into one girl’s chaotic wonderland-

text alan woo    photos william ting

Milk Magazine:

Interviewed by ”Milk” Magazine, Hong Kong