Edwin Ushiro Interview
I recently had a opportunity to talk with Edwin Ushiro after his solo show titled “Softly Encompassing the Womb” at Le Basse Projects in Culver City. Edwin Ushiro moved to Culver City from Maui, this Japanese artist got his feet wet in the art world as an art director and visual effects consultant for film and television before moving into the fine art gallery realm. The artist has since shown work internationally including in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and San Francisco. Ushiro has also participated in high profile exhibitions such as the Scion Installation Tour at Miamiʼs Art Basel, the Japanese American National Museum and at the Museum of Kyoto in Japan among many others. The buzzed-about artist has also recently been the subject of several magazine features.
SXH- Where are you from and what can you tell us about your hometown?
EU-I am from Wailuku, Maui. Now a sleepy town where grandmas go do their banking and shopping by day and hippies dance to music at night. It was once a thriving town where the sailors used to frequent back in the day. Looking back at those old black and white photographs, Wailuku was a party town, now perfect for raising a family.
SXH- As a kid, what did you want to be growing up?
EU- My dream was to be a veritech pilot like in Robotech. But to my knowledge, it’s not a reality. Is this correct?
SXH-Who or what do you look at for inspiration?
EU- Fascinating stories of the paranormal, life and love. I read a lot of books by Glen Grant, Hawaiian Folklorist and Living Treasure of Hawaii.
SXH- Where’s your studio?
EU- In another quiet town in Culver City, California and actually the stomping ground of Glen Grant, so I guess I’ve come full circle.
SXH- Describe a typical work day:
EU- I roll out of bed, turn on the computer and do my emails to get them out of the way, fire up the Howard Stern, eat oatmeal, shower, then work on film related projects or fine art paintings and experiments, take a break for lunch, work, take another break for dinner, then work until my eyes get tired, sleep and repeat.
SXH- What materials do you usual work in?
EU- Anything I can get my hands on.
SXH-What is your all time favorite painting?
EU- I am in SF right now, I don’t have a favorite, but I saw a huge painting by Alma Tadema which is always an insane experience.
SXH- What do you do when you’re not making art?
EU- Hang out with my friends, go to the beach, snowboard, basketball, try to watch tv/movies, basically insert myself back into society.)
SXH- Is there any Artist or Illustrator you would like to collaborate with?
EU- I dunno? I like what I am doing and I am unsure if I am ready to share. I did something with Tessar Lo. You know him, right?
SXH- What are you working on now and what’s in the future for you?
EU- Maybe you shouldn’t print this one, but I am working on a Hello Kitty piece, but I am also working on a few other pieces. One goes to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California for the “Giant Robot Biennale,” and the rest goes to New York for a pop-up LeBasse Projects exhibition.
SXH- Important non related question here: Sabbath or Zepplin?
EU- I’ll stick to my Hawaiian music, but my neighbor blasts Zepplin once in a while and sometimes I turn down whatever I am listening to just to feel their vibe.
SXH- Coffee or tea?
SXH- Music, talk radio, books on tape or golden silence
EU- Talk radio, love to listen to Howard Stern while drawing. It’s my morning regiment. I know Dave Choe listens, but I wonder how many artists out there listen too. Talk radio is good to have when you are working alone. I guess it’s kind of similar to people writing their movie scripts in Starbucks. Dont get me wrong, golden silence is excellent. Especially when you are so immersed in your world, any noise seem useless when all the sounds you hear are imaginary.
to see more of Edwin’s work, please visit-
Go see this show-
LeBasse Projects presents:
“Softly Encompassing the Womb”
A Solo Exhibition by Edwin Ushiro
September 12th – October 3rd 2009