Wk5 – Artist Conversation – Kiyomi Fukui

Fukui standing next to one of her favorite pieces.

For this week’s artist conversation I chose Kiyomi Fukui’s work in the Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery.  Fukui is a 27 year old graduate student majoring in printmaking at Cal State Long Beach.  After she graduates she plans to continue making art and possibly teach it.  She is currently teaching a lower division art class and is really enjoying it.  Fukui grew up in Japan and moved to the US when she was 19 and has been here ever since.

Upon entering Fukui’s gallery, Reminiscing Remnants, you will notice a circular table in the center of the room with various cups of tea and her pieces hung on the walls.  After talking with Fukui we found that her pieces were the “remnants” of gathering with friends where they drank tea and socialized together.  Fukui said that this whole project was inspired when we had lost someone close to her and her partner would make her tea in hopes of comforting her.  She later noticed the water rings that the tea cups left on the table and expanded upon this idea.  When creating her pieces Fukui takes pieces of gampi paper (Japanese paper) and paints them with beat juice to give them the red color.  She then has her friends leave there mark on the paper, which can include water rings form their cups or them actually pouring some tea on the table to create different patterns.  The tea she had brought for us was hibiscus with a mixture of lemongrass, various types of mint, chia seeds, and sloe berries (all from her own personal garden).

Various cups of tea for us to drink from and to use to leave our mark on the table.

The first of her pieces were the small coasters (about 5 inches in diameter) she then expanded to her much larger pieces which were the size of the table being used for her parties.  She explained that she didn’t want to have a hand in any of her pieces and never trimmed or fixed anything after the parties.  The rips in a few of the pieces were caused when tea was poured over some of the sugar cubes she provided causing it to crystalize and get stuck to the table when removing her pieces.  She said that at first she was slightly distressed that they were tearing, but now thinks of the tears as added character (these are now some of her favorite pieces).

One thing that I really liked about Fukui’s gallery was that she wanted everyone to leave their mark on the table and just hang around and chat with her.  I thought the whole idea of Reminiscing Remnants was inspiring because I’m not always the most observant person.  Fukui kept talking about how she wants people to find remnants in everyday life so I’m definitely going to keep and eye out for these remnants in the future.

Fukui and her partner are working together in making Peace Lily Press & Micro Farm, which is a non-toxic printmaking and biodiverse organic production.  If you’d like to check out more of Kiyomi Fukui’s work check out her Instagram or if you’d like to learn more about Peace Lily Press & Micro Farm you can email Fukui to be put on their emailing list.  All contact information and links to the appropriate websites are listed below.

Kiyomi Fukui

Peace Lily Press & Micro Farm

The largest of Fukui’s pieces.

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