Artist: Kiyomi Fukui
Exhibition: Seeds of Contemplation, Biola University, La Mirada, CA; Poetics of Relation, DAC Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; LAND, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA; and PaperWorks Refolded, Brea Gallery, City of Brea, CA
Media: Printmaking, General art, Ceramic
Art Conversation #5: Rebirth
Have you heard the saying “Do what you love”? It’s a very controversial saying, because one of the most common questions is, what are we doing for love? How do we know we’re doing it for love? Well if you’re doing something out of passion, something that makes you and others happy, putting the effort, doing what you love. Of course there’s many other answers, we all have our own opinions, we’re allowed to express how we feel, even though it may be different from everyone elses. Don’t be afraid, different is normal, because nothing in life is really normal we just say it is, but everyone and everything is unique in their very own way. With that being said I’d like to introduce an artist who knows about being abnormal. She has lived with all her life, and I could relate to her, and I would say it’s our blessing, it’s our way of life.
Our first Artist we have is Kiyomi Fukui a Japanese American artist who lives and works in Long Beach. She has lived both in Japan and America being able to become bilingual, and find her inspiration from both cultures. She received an MFA in Printmaking from Cal State Long Beach and a BFA in Graphic Design from La Sierra University. She also teaches general art at various institutions including California State University – Long Beach, Collective Print Studio, Los Alamitos Education Foundation, and Irvine Fine Arts Center, while making/selling wearable objects and taking on freelance graphic design/illustration projects. Her work consists of very eco friendly work, her work is very good for the earth. It consists of both mother nature, recycling, some materialistic tools like paper, her work ranges from all sizes big and small, from being able to hold it in the palm of your hand to being able to see it from afar. Her work is more object oriented but it’s not just any object her work comes from more of spiritual drive, her artwork is piece and universally, this why I will proceed with what this means.
At one point in our life we realized that there are things that don’t last forever and that makes them more precious. It makes you realize that you have to cherish, appreciate and enjoy what you have, before it’s too late. Kiyomi Fukui lived in a religious home, she was very influenced, her father is a pastor in japan, and her mom has a beautiful place in heaven. She has been inspired by both her parents to make her art. She came to realize that everything doesn’t last forever when sadly she lost her mother to cancer. Instead of having this resistance and hate towards it, she used her family’s religious connections to start her work. She connected with her work spiritually, for example “The Green Thumb Project” that was influenced by her mother as she had her mom’s thumb molded so she could reuse it to grow a plant and have her “rebirth”. She is able to connect with her mom shs able to re-grow her roots. From this I came to think that she could overcome and achieve anything she wants. She understands the value of loving what you have, and also that those things that don’t last forever they can last forever; you just depend on how you make them last forever.. This is not her only work she also has the “Apologetic Garden” which also has the people connect to the art connect to the art. Art is made from passione, from effort, and you can connect with your art more than the physical aspect of it. Her art work is not only seen but its felt, and i’m not talking about feeling it physically.
As we spoke in the introductory, are you really doing what you love? Kiyomi Fukui is exactly doing that, she is doing what she loves, and no matter what life throws at her no matter where she is she has this vabrient life that doesn’t let her give up, her spirit, her soul is the purest of all, she is strong. I can personally connect with her. Being immigrated into a different place isn’t easy, well because your different everyone sees you as not being normal and she embraced that. She embraced not being normal and instead of letting it be a setback or instead of seeing it as a “curse’, she has used it to her advantage and she has shaped her life because of it. I know that feeling, I know that feeling of being out of your comfort zone and it’s a real question you ask yourself: What am I? Who am I? You are who you want to be, anything in this world is possible, while you may not have things permanently forever, you can have them spiritually forever. You can connect to life, and really see the beauty of it, you can see that life is an art work, and you’re an art piece that belongs in that art work. You paint how you want to be seen