MAY: ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Updated: Jul 3, 2019
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: KATE TATSUMI
Vegan, ecofeminist, visual artist, and of course, our artist of the month. You may have known her as the artist who introduced us to her works that are culturally challenging, constructive feminism.
But let’s focus more on Kate as an artist and let’s get to know more about her advocacy for the environment and her passion for art….
AN ARTIST WHO CARED ABOUT HER FELLOW LIVING BEINGS
With her love for the environment, Tatsumi leaves us a short but very important message we should all start to ponder on.
“Our planet is in danger. We cannot sit in the dark and ignore our global impact any longer. Even though it can be hard to change the way you have been living and break old habits, there is beauty and strength in learning and changing. Go vegan, stop buying plastic and teach your children to care about our earth and save her”.
DON’T LET EQUALITY BE A MYTH
Sexism and inequality is an issue that seems to be inevitable in society. But when you think of the whole stereotype of people in the art scene being completely “open-minded”, think again. It appears to actually be a myth.
So we asked Kate what she thinks of sexism in the art scene and she shares a bit of what she has been witnessing…
“Sexism in the art scene is alive and well. I see so many young male white artists getting shows over brown, women, queer and non binary people. I think much of the contemporary art scene is still ruled by white males and it needs to change”.
Kate will be doing a residency in Þórshöfn Iceland for the summer and will be working with the Röstin Residency together with other artists who will be experimenting with hosting other creatives and fostering community.
She will organize a workshop with the other artists in residence and the community in the town wherein it will focus on expanding Iceland’s current investment in reducing plastic waste--WAY TO GO!
MAY 2019: KATE TATSUMI
Kindly share with us 3 facts most people don’t know about you
I have type 1 diabetes I am proudly half Japanese and half Swedish.
What do you think about sexism in the art scene?
Sexism in the art scene is alive and well. I see so many young male white artists getting shows over brown, women, queer and non binary people. I think much of the contemporary art scene is still ruled by white males and it needs to change.
How do you think art could save the environment?
I think sometimes environmentalism can feel scary to people and they don’t want to believe things are as bad as they are. Art can help people digest these intense realities or make them think of them from a different perspective. Documentary films can be a great way to do that. Cowspiracy, Plastic Ocean, Our Planet are some truly beautiful films that also deliver a strong message about climate change, veganism and the beauty of our world that we need to protect now! There are also some great artists who incorporate taking care of the earth into their practice. Corinne Loperfido of Pussy Powerhouse and Lizzy Jeff the medicine women, both do this in beautiful and badass ways.
How would you like to be remembered by?
I would like to be remembered as an artist who was kind and cared about her fellow living beings.
Right now, what is the most important message you would share to society?
Our planet is in danger. We cannot sit in the dark and ignore our global impact any longer. Even though it can be hard to change the way you have been living and break old habits, there is beauty and strength in learning and changing. Go vegan, stop buying plastic and teach your children to care about our earth and save her.
Some of my upcoming projects…. I received an artist residency in Þórshöfn Iceland for the summer! I will be working with Röstin Residency, a group of artists experimenting with hosting other creatives and fostering community. During my time in Iceland I will be doing a few things, firstly I will be organizing a workshop with the other artists in residence and the community in the town. The workshop will focus on expanding Iceland’s current investment in reducing plastic waste. I will be helping participants use recycled fabrics to sew their own zero-waste bags. Secondly I will be presenting a solo exhibition of my ceramic sculptures. Thirdly I hope to engage in a dialogue and brainstorm long term solutions to climate change with others. This will be my first solo travel journey and the small fishing village is about 10 hours from the airport in Reykjavik. This trip will help to further my artistic career as well as help me to share some sustainable methods with other environmentalists. I believe as humans living on this earth, we need to work together to keep her alive. I hope this trip will help me show my skills to others and learn from them as well.
Another upcoming project for me is a feature in a zine from a small publishing company. The Zine is titled Ex Lover. The zine is about love letters, vibrator funerals, spells and poems and has works from artists working in many different mediums and styles. The works of mine in the zine are my new pillow sculptures resembling tombstones with the names of a few famous men guilty of sexual assault or crimes against women. Like Chris Brown, Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump and James Franco.
Another project I’m focusing on continuously is protesting. I feel it’s become a large part of my practice day to day. I create my signs by hand using recycled materials and put a lot of thought into each in the design and the message. I attend an intimate weekly protest in Torrance where I live and try to make it out to all the big ones in LA. I feel that people coming together to let their voices be heard is very powerful and creates a stronger widespread community.
I’m also starting to sustain a zero waste vegan lifestyle. I have been vegan for 4 years and going zero waste was the obvious next step. I think this fits into my art practice as my life often becomes my work. I create a lot of my art from personal experience and this is no different. I cannot exist as an feminist artist without taking care of the earth as well. Zero waste means rejecting new plastic, buying package free food mostly from farmer markets or from the grocery store in bulk. I bring my own ceramic cup and plate when I eat out that I made myself. I incorporate soft sculpture from my practice into zero waste living when I sew my own bulk and produce bags. I also try to recycle waste instead of throwing it in the trash will inevitably ends up on garbage island.