Jave Gakumei Yoshimoto|
A recent graduate from the Department of Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Gakumei "yoshi" Yoshimoto thrives in working with various media and found objects. His subject matters includes social issues that surrounds him, his friends and family and within his life experiences. He hopes by creating his art "objects", he will be able to create an experience for the audience to interact with.
Yoshi currently works as a social worker for Devereux Foundation of Santa Barbara. He will begin Graduate Studies in Art Therapy at the School of Art Institute of Chicago in the Fall of 2005.
Human beings are habitual creatures. We buy new things such as clothes and furniture to satisfy our current needs, only to be rid of them a short time thereafter. The objects become discarded to trash as though they were yesterday's news. What we forget about these objects is that we spent quality time with them, leaving each of these objects a story that is unique to them. As I rummage through trash and second hand thrift stores, I see mountains of these broken objects with so many stories to tell. The anthropological aspects of these discarded objects drew my interests. Why were they discarded? Why were they purchased? What aspects of our lives do we discard just as easily as these objects? I was left to seek for the answers to these questions.
Through cultural programming, people have a tendency to avert their eyes from things that do not please them. Clothes go out of style, furniture becomes scratched, rusty, and covered with dust and stains. I noticed a similar outlook with people on social issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual abuse: issues that are not easy to swallow, or look at for that matter. From there, taking influence from Nan Goldin's photographs, and her snapshot aspects showing everything as "the way they were", I sought to combine the images of the current social issues that surround me in Goldin's manner along with these found forgotten objects. Placing the images in such a way forces the audience to be a voyeur in a very in-your-face manner.
The first struggle I had was how to apply the images onto these objects. Photography and print could easily be applied, but such a route did not justify nor satisfy my purpose. I decided upon painting after being influenced by the "reality TV" show, "American Chopper" as I watched the family of a semi-dysfunctional family crafting together customized motorcycles.
Having the "hands on" craftsman aspect by painting on these objects, and restoring them back to an almost new, usable state again was the only way I could justify the craftsmen who made these objects in the first place. I then began to appreciate and became fascinated with the pride these craftsmen once had.
In this sense I share my fascination with Joseph Cornell. Like Cornell, I try to envision myself in a world that I have not necessarily experienced, but may have heard and tried to recreate this fascination my own way. If he can create a world in a box, I desire to create my world within a room that would overwhelm the senses.
Having recently discovered my Attention Deficit Disorder, I hope to bring the audience into my chaotic thought process where everything just hits at once. Though at times my own desire to capture social issues has come to overwhelm myself, I resorted to creating pieces that are absurd and silly for amusement, as well as to create balance to counter the serious subject matter. Humor is also a way to alleviate and overcome pains and obstacles in our lives. I have then turned to Marcel Duchamp for inspiration, creating painting/sculptural, performance pieces based upon utter silliness.
For my senior show I've placed all my pieces together in a gallery space, and turned it into a bedroom where I resided for a period of 72 hours. Every which way I turned was a piece that is a commentary on the world that surrounds us. It is not my intent to overexpose or to create such discomfort that the pieces would create pity, but rather, a way to earn compassion from the audience, and ultimately, trigger something within them to assist in the healing process of these social issues. Sometimes we need laughter to calm our unease, but the problems within our world will not go away by ignorance.
I took a different direction and audience interactivity than Felix Gonzalez-Torres because unlike the pleasantness of being able to take free candy, we all need a swift kick in the ass sometimes. Within my works I hope to find what it is to be human, and through my future works using and combining different media, along with the possibilities of the internet, I can only hope humans will become more habitually compassionate creatures.
?TK:O, Santa Barbara Art Association, Gallery 113, Santa Barbara, California 2004
?Plasma Rag, Featured online artist of the month, September 2004
?EyeCandy Magazine, Featured artist of the month, Kennesaw Georgia, September 2004
?3rd annual Asian American Artists showcase, Multicultural Center, University of California, 2004
?Space Invaders, Gallery 1434, University of California Santa Barbara, 2004
?Blur, temporary contemporary at Bekins, Santa Barbara, California, 2004
?Artists and Representation, Multicultural Center, University of California Santa Barbara, 2004
?Undergrads Unite, Gallery S, Goleta, California, 2004
?Pigments of the dimensional world, Santa Barbara Art Association, Gallery 113, Santa Barbara, California 2004
?2nd annual Asian American Artists showcase, Multicultural Center, University of California, Santa Barbara 2003
?Yoshi Textrospective: Artworks of Gakumei Yoshimoto, Gallery 1434, University of California Santa Barbara 2003
?Assisted Jane Mulfinger in Exacting minutia while history repeats, Site specific installation, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California 2004
?Old School VS New Funk, Gallery S, Goleta, California 2004
?Freedom, July issue of EyeCandy magazine, Kennesaw, Georgia 2004
?Art explosions, Mercury Lounge, Goleta, California 2004
?Assisted Jane Mulfinger in Fictive city and its Real Estate: The tale of the transcontinental railroad, Performance/Site Specific Installation, Union Train Station to Leefahsalung, Los Angeles, California, 2004
?Reflections of Poverty, Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara, California, 2004
?Les Etudiants, Gallery S, Goleta, California, 2004
?Embracing Ellwood, Gallery 113, Santa Barbara, California, 2003
?Advanced Painting Class Exhibition, Gallery 1434, University of California Santa Barbara, 2003
?21st Century Woman: New ideas on feminity, Women's Center, University of California Santa Barbara 2003
?Artist of the month, Gallery 113, Santa Barbara, California 2003
?Focused on the Forum, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California 2003
?Semana Nautica, Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, Santa Barbara, California 2003
?Undergraduate Art Exhibition, University Art Museum, University of California Santa Barbara 2003
?1st Bi-annual Asian American Artists Showcase, Multicultural Center, University of California Santa Barbara 2003
?Photography Exhibition, Gallery 1434, University of California Santa Barbara 2003
?Gallery in the Attic, Walnut Creek, California 2002
?Milgraph, Military Graphics Competition, Fort Meade, Maryland 2002
?The Helen Award, Department of Art, University of California Santa Barbara 2004
?Outstanding volunteer award, Student Health Advisory Committee, University of California Santa Barbara, 2004
?Nominee, Activities award via Student Health, University of California Santa Barbara, 2004
?Nominee, Activities award via Students Stopping Rape, Women's Center, University of California Santa Barbara, 2004
?Honorable mention, Reflections of Poverty, Santa Barbara, California 2004
?Honorable mention, Les Etudiants, Goleta, California 2004
?Honorable mention, Semana Nautica, Santa Barbara, California 2003
?Award of Excellence, Healing power of Art competition, Manhattan Arts International, 2003
?Honorable Mention, Military Graphics Competition 2001, Fort Meade, Maryland 2002
?First place, Sixth annual International Arts Competition, Bunka Academy of Art, Mito, Japan/Academy of Arts College, San Francisco, CA 1997
?Artist research assistant to Professors Jane Callister and Jane Mulfinger, 2004, University of California Santa Barbara, CA
?Bachelor of Art, Department of Art, 2002-2004, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
?Campaign artist, Student Health, University of California Santa Barbara, CA
?Curator, Gallery S, 2004, Goleta, CA
?Razzle Dazzle Kids after school arts teacher, 2004, Santa Barbara, CA
?Member of Contemporary Arts Forum, 2003, Santa Barbara, CA
?Member of Santa Barbara Art Association, 2003, Santa Barbara, CA
?Multimedia illustrator, 2001-2004, United States Army Reserves, Vallejo, CA
?Graphic design/digital imaging, 1999-2001, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill,
?Computer arts major, 1996-97, Academy of Arts College, San Francisco, CA