What does it mean to you to join the North Lands Creative network and be part of building a community for glass?
I’m honored to be a part of this film festival. It has been difficult to find the opportunity to show glass art which is related to performance art since it is not common in the glass art world. North Lands Creative is such a great place for all creative people. It is very inspiring to see other female artists working with both glass and video work.
Tell us about your work. What influences translate into your art practice?
I created the performance work “Voice” in 2017 after I participated in the women’s march in Washington D.C. I was thinking about what I can say about feminism as a Japanese woman living in the United States. It has been difficult for me to build a healthy relationship due to people’s misconceptions, especially those related to Asian women. To overcome our issues in the relationship, I created a complex glass house to perform inside.
What initially captured your imagination about glass?
Glass is a subtle material to me. I can see people behind a sheet of clear glass, people can see me as well, but we cannot touch each other directly. It is as if there is an invisible filter between people, or a thin sheer membrane of a skin that protects us all from our surroundings… and from each other. To me, glass is a metaphor for human relationships.
What’s the significance of the handmade to you?
I had studied glass as a traditional craft material when I was in Japan. I was taught that technique, materiality and the making process are all very important components to developing my creative skills. Since then, I’ve always tried to be involved in the entire process of my art making to better understand the procedures used in all mediums. To me, handmade is about knowing the materials and the processes involved in the making.
What was your route to becoming an artist?
I attended several art schools to learn different techniques and perspectives in glass making. After graduating, I participated in several different residency programs around the United States. These experiences helped me develop my art practice and allowed me more opportunities to engage in the art community. I’m currently living in Seattle, a place that many well-known glass artists call their home. The local glass community in Seattle is wonderful and helps me learn about glass art and build upon my art community.
What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
I have been using old materials such as recycled window frames and antique lampshades to create sculptures since 2016. I use mending techniques to give these castoff materials a second life. I salvage the materials destined for the garbage and utilize them for my art.