I definitely think so. My childhood is a huge influence on my work. I was always conflicted growing up with how I should identify. Because I am half Japanese half Australian, I had a hard time fitting into either category (not that I ever had to). I think my artwork is an exploration of that. It is a visual representation of a culmination of experiences to do with race, identity and imagination.
Your illustrations now take many forms in fashion, print and street art. Can you tell us a bit about how this evolved?
I think I’d always imagined myself being multifaceted. When I was in high school, there wasn’t one particular creative outlet that I had decided on. I never wanted to have to choose. I started out illustrating, but would often experiment with other mediums. Things like burners on wood, or paint on glass... After that, I think I realised that there were so many ways to apply art, and that it could be appreciated anywhere.
Artists and makers sometimes say that their craft is a necessary form of self-expression which helps them process things. Do you kind of relate to that?
Absolutely. I think sometimes for myself, it can be used as therapy. Time to reflect. Often, I come up with new ideas while creating something. It’s almost like constant forward movement comes from constant practice.
You came to Melbourne in 2017. What was that transition like? Do you think moving to Melbourne influenced what you produced in any way?
The transition was quite isolating at first. Confusing... I didn’t know very many people. I was staying with two of my beautiful close friends who let me live in their lounge room while I found my feet.
I think Melbourne was incredibly daunting, especially after I’d lived most of my life in a very small town. It felt so big and I felt quite alone. If there has been any significant way that Melbourne has influenced my art, it was the realisation that I really had to work hard to pursue my passion. Everyone here is chasing their dream. I wasn’t special. It made me push myself.
The marketing and media side of being an artist to me, is synonymous with the “business side”. That said, I find it quite fun.
I grew up when Instagram first started. It was a thrill to post up a picture I’d drawn... I think the feeling is still somewhat there. It feels more businesslike when I do it now because I understand marketing, but I genuinely enjoy being able to share my artwork to people who may not be able to see it firsthand.
I think the media and marketing side of being an artist (particularly Instagram), has been pivotal to my career so far. Although some people may say it’s a pain (I often feel the same), I can’t help but be thankful that I can use it.
FROM US TO YOU
Our Southwood wall has been filled with the colourful fragments of Melbourne artist Aki Yaguchi's imagination! Our beautiful mural has drawn people together and been the start of conversation between many strangers.
We often get the joy of collaborating with stylists, interior designers and architects on local projects. This week our team have been going through images from a shoot from the stunning WoWoWa home with great fervor. The very talented Ruth Welsby styled the light-filled, optimistic, Italian influenced space with some of our favourite Southwood pieces. Check it out below!
We don't just go lust over beautiful design all day every day...we have filled our showroom with so many luxurious winter throws it almost makes us not lust after summer at all! From mohair, alpaca, bamboo/cotton and fine merino, winter doesn't seem that dreary when you're wrapped in a soft and cosy throw. Treat yourself.
From us at Southwood X
This small residence really packs a punch - it's fun, optimistic, functional and lures one into the good life - light and bright lunches of wine and mussels. Ornate Italian tiles, the vaulted ceiling, the terrarium-like courtyard and the colour scheme of pink, white and green could have you mistake your location for Vernazza rather than Carlton North. With clever use of lightwells for natural and inconspicuous storage spaces, WoWoWa have created a home that defines the balance between function and form. It's not surprising that Il Duomo has just been listed as a finalist for the inaugural Design Files Design Awards. The charming and talented Ruth Welsby styled the home using some Southwood pieces that sit in the space as if they were part of the original design. This home feels surprisingly big and the perfect kind of festive!
DC HILLIER | MCM Daily
By Kristina Dam
Kristina Dam Studio is known for their sculptural, minimal designs. The Grid series is yet another example of this. Made from perforated steel, the Grid cabinet is available in 76 L x 45 W x 132 H cm, the Grid sideboard comes in 160 L x 36 W x 72 H cm and there are also shelving options. The cabinet is topped with beautiful black marble, the doors clip closed by a subtle magnet function. With it's transparent, minimal design, the Grid Series is understated, cleverly formed and timeless.