MIKA AONO

Monday 7/31/17 time 4:37 PM


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Background as an artist

I always loved art. My mom was an art lover. She used to take me and my sister to a park to draw when the cherry blossoms were in full swing. I joined an art club at school when I was 10, started oil painting. From then on, I studied many art media. I have an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. I really enjoy making something with my hands. The process and materials are as important as final outcome in my work.

I manage Printmaking and Fibers area in the Art Department at the University of Oregon in the US during the academic year.

How did you end up choosing your media?

I have a strong background in sculpture and printmaking. The methodology of prints works really well with my concept, in terms of making multiples and layering. Both areas are technical and I love being in the process. I like experimenting and letting some happenstances on the way shaping my route. People often call me as a multidisciplinary artist since I'm not fixed in one medium. I use a lot of found objects that caught my eyes. It's very satisfying to create immersive installations that people can be in them.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best part is that I'm doing what I love. I get high in the process. :)

I feel sad about the commodification of art. What I really want to create is an experience, not a product. Managing my time is such a challenge: balancing my job, family life, creating art, applying for shows/grants and paying bills.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Yes, this is my first time in Joutsa, Finland and I imagined it to be surrounded by nature. The beauty in the area is beyond my expectations. The trails around the two lakes nearby are my favorite; an insects haven.

I got to work at Ratamo Printmaking and Photography Center in Jyväskylä and take a short trip to Lapland. Those were such amazing experiences. I'm so glad that I had the opportunities. 

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

The best thing is to have ample space and time to create without any specific agenda. It was so wonderful that I could let the environment inspire me.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I've been working on a project that examines the relationship between human and nature. I started on multiple etchings at Ratamo and I'd like to continue and finish it when I get home. It'll be a triptych consisting of those copper etchings, woodblock, and some collage elements. It contains many plants, insects, birds and flowers that I saw during my residency.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I got everything I hoped for and more. This is such a warm, welcoming place. I love Merja, Raimo and the kitties. I had a lot of freedom to just let my heart soar. Thank you very much for having me.


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