This is Yuko Shimizu.
An award-winning Japanese Illustrator based in New York, whose works are mainly in the medium of brush and ink. She teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York and for everyone else around the world, we may take up her short course on Skillshare or learn from her frequent activity on Instagram.
The first thing that attracted me to this artist was that she integrates her Japanese heritage into her contemporary works; influence from the Japanese Ukiyo-e can be seen in her style. I believe that she takes heavy references from not only reknown ukiyo-e painter- Katsushika Hokusai but also Utagawa Kuniyoshi whom she mentioned in her blog post titled “15 Influencers that will stick with you forever”. Though the entire list is made up of artists from different fields of art and design, ranging from film directors, graphic designers to Authors, the presence of the ukiyo-e definitely echoes as seen when compared.
Yuko is also an inspiring figure as her success is truly built up through pure ambition. She was originally a PR worker and spent 11 years working as one after graduating with a business degree in university. The lack of an official art education made her insecure about her own work for a very long time. Then she finally made the switch in her early-thirties, giving up stable job and income to attend art school. I think it was admirable that she attended art school among 18 year olds and it really goes to show that there is no shame in striving for your goals no matter how old you are.
As a late bloomer myself, one who has been through art school and is still figuring things out, I find her story comforting. She has allowed my to learned that I am still young and that development is not a race for time.
You may view more of her works on her instagram.
Identity is an elusive concept. It is a thing that presumably everyone should possess; to know who and what they are. But if there is no singularity in a person’s identity then which is the true you? Under French Psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan’s theory – The Mirror Stage, describes a scenario where a baby meets its own reflection for the first time. That is when it discovers itself, recognizing ‘me’ to be different from the objects in its surroundings. The discovery is centered around desire which is directed outside. Thus, “The not you, are a fundamental part of you.”
IN/EX draws inspiration from the mirror-ing and fluctuation of desires. The idea is mainly translated in the tech part whereby following the sight of the wearer, the exterior is reflected within, in the illuminated skirt. The veil and transparency of the garment is meant to represent the husk of the human appearance that is influenced by external happenings. The face of the mask is best to be covered with reflective elements for the mirror-ing aspect but when attempted it seemed to overpower just the mask and I intend to scatter some around the skirt to bring some balance to the work.
Fashion Show Role & Contribution
I was one of the two that were going to handle the music for the fashion show. Unfortunately, I was not present for the last lesson and am not sure if anything about the themes were discussed. But I wanted to create soundscapes tailored for each garment to bring them into spatial realm. Perhaps cyberpunk inspired.
The topic started with the COVID in its infancy, when it was still the WuHan virus. There was a lot of anger around because of the unhygienic wildlife dishes served in China, that was the speculated cause of the pandemic. It is a reasonable reaction but also a hypocritical one. Sure their exotic diet ended up killing 200 000 people within the span but an average diet is no where not as safe as you believe.
In efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2050, a global goal made under the International Paris Agreement in 2015, global consumption of food especially meat and other animal products need to be reduced by more than 50% of what is consumed today.
More than 45% of the Earth’s land surface are cleared woodland used to raise livestock and on top of that, cattle farming produce large amounts of methane contributing to almost a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.
The best diet out there is actually a vegetarian diet and by switching to less carbon intensive or alternative, an individual’s carbon footprint can be greatly reduced to up to 96%.
A promotional activity for sustainable dining in the form of a Self-ordering Kiosk/phone application.
The final design retains my original intention to redefine how we eat, I decided to focus on the thought process of making meal decisions, imagining it to be part of a larger exhibition or campaign by any sustainable food activist organisation e.g. Quorn, IMPOSSIBLE or IPCC (short for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change under the UN) etc.
The most difficult task was to make the audience more aware of the impact of their choices and that emotional aspect to care is collectively agreed to be through guilt.
Media Art Nexus:
3840 x 480 pixels
LED 15m by 2m
North Spine Plaza Media Art Nexus
Date to be confirmed
Topic: Singaporean Chinese Ethnic Identity
Culture is an ever-changing phenomenon, morphing at every major event in human history. Singapore being an amalgamation of multiple races is a epitome of diaspora; a hot-spot for culture integration. 50+ years down the road, Chinese culture in Singapore seems to have become ‘endangered’ as a distinct gap in ethnic identity between the younger and older generation is formed due to heavy western influences.
E.g. Speak Good English Campaign, Simplified general Culture education for multi-racial community etc