asianave May 28, 2015 Comments Off on Up-and-Coming


 Asian Avenue magazine connects with four up-and-coming Asian American artists to get some artistic perspective

Just as their ancestors have done for centuries before them, Asian American artists bridge     different cultures, connect different experiences, and express their unique visions that reflect different faces of the Asian American community. From art to performing arts, writing and        architecture, Asian Americans contribute significantly to the artistic landscape in the United States.  As with any other form of expression, there can certainly be a lot of debate and disagreement over the merits or meaning of particular works and how it represents Asian American culture, by Asians and non-Asians alike. But this kind of artistic and cultural diversity is ultimately a testament to the talent and creativity that exists within the Asian American community. Asian Avenue magazine set out to find some of Colorado’s up-and-coming Asian American artists to get their perspectives on how their cultural backgrounds influence their art. These young Asian American artists will inspire you by their talent and love for art.

Akemi Camille Tsutsui

Age: 21

City: Denver, CO

Medium: Charcoal and colored pencil

“Much of my work considers the role of Asian Americans in United States history.”

Colorado native Akemi Camille Tsutsui takes a look at racial minority subjects through a portrait artist’s lense.  With a special focus on Japanese American culture, her work is both realistic and illustrative.

Asian Avenue (A.A)- What medium(s) do you prefer to work in?

A.C.T –  I like that in charcoal I can create dimension and the illusion of space by manipulating the lights and darks of the image, pulling and pushing things back in “space.”  Charcoal can also have a very dramatic feeling with the strong blacks and whites you make with the medium.  Colored pencil has a great vibrancy to it.  It’s perfect to use when I want the image to have a liveliness or a pop to it.closed 6

A.A- What’s your inspiration for doing your work?

A.C.T – I take a lot of inspiration for the subject matter of my work from my experiences in the Asian American community, my studies in the Ethnic Studies department at University of Colorado Denver and my family history.  Much of my work considers the role of Asian Americans in United States history.  Other pieces draw more on Japanese American cultural influences.  In this sense I use Japanese motifs and iconic cultural images.  I’m also very inspired by the struggles of other ethnic minorities around the world. I’m deeply influenced by the work of Hung Liu, Michael Shapcott, Stephen Chow, and Hayao Miyazaki.

A.A) -Do you have any advice for prospective artists?

A.C.T– Draw from what you see around you and be very conscious of space, color, texture. Even if the content of your work doesn’t convey scenes from real life or even resemble the world we live in, studying how the human eye perceives life is very important in understanding how to convey what you want in your work.

Sage Mirei Asakawa

Age: 18

City: Boulder, CO.

Medium: Pen and ink.

“My cultural background serves as a wonderland for my work.”

headshotInspired by anime powerhouses (like Studio Ghibli) from a young age, Sage Mirei Asakawa incorporates her Japanese background with the fantasy world in highly detailed pen and ink manga drawings.

Asian Avenue (A.A.) – What medium do you prefer to work in?

Sage Mirei Asakawa (S.M.A.) – I like using pen best because I can work on a piece or draw anywhere. Pen has no boundaries until you run out. As a child, it was what I’d use most because it was always there and I could get the fine details I wanted.

A.A. – How does your cultural background influence your work?

S.M.A. – My cultural background serves as a wonderland for my work. A great number of my pieces have a Japanese element to them. Additionally, from a young age I started watching Studio Ghibli films and was blown away by the dreamy elements and beautiful animation. In middle school I discovered anime and manga and those really served to inspire me, especially the latter. Manga has such fine details and is almost always hand drawn. The illustrations serving to tell a story was right up my alley.

A.A. – How do you see your art developing in the future?

S.M.A. – The great thing about art is that it’s always developing. I think everytime I draw my style develops and I gain more skill. It’s going to be a journey and there are definitely things I need to improve on but I’m confident that my work will grow in the best way. I also know I need to start teaching myself the ins and outs of digital art thoroughly.

Cory Feder

Age: 21

City: Chicago, IL

Medium: Animation and sculpture

“I like finding magic in small everyday gestures and moments.”

Colorado grown, Cory Feder is a Korean American animation and sculpture artist.  Her work blends the ordinary with the peculiar in her exploration of the human experience.

Asian Avenue (A.A) – What’s your inspiration for doing your work?

Cory Feder (C.F.) – I like finding magic in small everyday gestures and moments. Tradition, domesticity and ritual are things I can’t help but constantly return to in terms of having to live within those limits but also finding ways to escape through the imagination. The balance of both is what keeps things interesting for me.

A.A. – What mediums do you prefer to work in?

IMG_2943C.F. -I have been working mostly in animation and soft sculpture for the past few years…When I make animated films, I am able to make the entire world where my creations will live and exist… Film allows me to sculpt, make music, draw and write which are all things I’ve always done separately.

A.A.- How does your cultural background influence your work?

C.F.- Growing up as a half Korean girl in United States has ultimately been a confusing and humorous experience for me.  I always found it funny that everyone set me apart because of that side of my heritage, yet the only part of the culture I knew was what my mom had decided to raise me with…The idea of pseudo-culture is an idea that I’m always thinking about and always find as a foundation to build from.

Chris Haven

Age: 35

City: Westminster, CO.

Medium: Spray paint

“Once someone has found their style it’s more about fine tuning than developing.”

Chris Haven’s energetic style brings a unique vibe to the Colorado art scene both on the streets and in galleries.  Based in Westminster, Colorado, the artist/DJ’s work uses location to his artistic advantage.

Asian Avenue (A.A) – What medium do you prefer to work in?

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Chris Haven (C.H.) – The medium I prefer is spray paint. Once I began using this medium I knew it would be my favorite. It’s fast, you’re able to cover a large area quickly and the color selection now is vibrant and great to use.

A.A. – How do you see your art developing in the future?

C.H. – In the future I see my art develop by doing more large scale murals as well as more personal art shows. Once someone has found their style it’s more about fine tuning than developing. Though I always try and switch styles up and be creative and original.

A.A. – Do you have any advice for prospective artists?

C.H. – My advice for future artists is don’t get discouraged. Everyone wants to do art, everyone is an artist and to a certain degree everything is art. So don’t judge your works on someone else’s  keep developing your style, pushing your self. It’s really about self progression. Get involved with whatever you can to show your works. Utilize your time wisely. Be original, which Is hard now with so many creative minds out there. Be creative and inspire!!


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