Cole Nagamatsu delicately explores transitions in her fiction.
“I like the idea of the artwork not being passive. If the art was like a garden one would need to take care of it. It would not just be something that hangs on the wall; it would be something that you need to tend to, that you have a relationship with. The idea of a frame around a piece of artwork seems to me to suggest a coffin. When the artwork is behind glass it seems more like a specimen that is being preserved then something we can interact with.”
I like the idea of the artwork not being passive. If the art was like a garden one would need to take care of it. It would not just be something that hangs on the wall; it would be something that you need to tend to, that you have a relationship with. The idea of a frame around a piece of artwork seems to me to suggest a coffin. When the artwork is behind glass it seems more like a specimen that is being preserved then something we can interact with.
I absolutely love teaching when I feel like my talents are being used. I don’t really like the structure at all. I feel completely caged by the bell system. I think in 2020 we should know that if we’re looking to get the best out of individuals it is not always the most helpful to be rigid with your timetable. I don’t think the idea of 45 minutes per subject with a hard deadline is actually helpful to anyone. Yet there needs to be some way to organize all 500 or so students into some type of structure. I don’t think I necessarily have the answer or even the power to change the system but what I do know is that it benefits a select number of people… A certain type of person. I love being alone in my studio. I feel like I could be the type of person who moves to a cabin on a national forest. The more I am alone the more I feel I have time to slow down and actually enjoy the little things.
I have musical tastes that spread all over the spectrum. I really like some forms of noise, jazz, folk, classical, indie rock. I don’t think there’s really any one thing in particular that holds me. If it’s creative and it feels honest, I usually can find some value in it. Some music seems to feel really reflective of what I’m paying attention to and then that music seems to allow for me to create more successfully.
I do feel my work is political because the way I look at land is. Humanity is very shortsighted. Even if we have the science that would allow us to solve a problem, very few people are willing to sacrifice their way of life to obtain that solution. I am not super optimistic about our ability to maintain a healthy environment.
It seems like some cultures have a respect for the natural world and maybe not just representations of it. There are maybe places where gardening or being in the land is more important than having an image of it hanging on the wall. Would we need landscape painting if we were constantly living in it? It was a wealthy, elite class from the city that moved out into the country and purchase land, not to farm, but to look at. The question is, why did they want to look at land? And how did they look at land differently than the farmers that we’re working at?
I think growing up in a place and having that experience with a space is something you only get to do once. I learned a lot from the midwestern landscape. I think it actually formed who I am and how I think about the world. I love to travel but I don’t necessarily think it’s to gain a different perspective artistically.
I have found that I need to change the way I create things. I am often making works that would only take a day to create. I am not doing large projects or researching because I don’t have the time. For much of the year my two children were at home with me and I needed to take care of them while I was also trying to teach remotely. There was really very little time for me to get into the studio.
I think visual art is very similar to music for me if it’s honest and it’s responding to the world in a creative way I can really appreciate it. There are also different reasons why I like visual art. I can find myself really getting into a Yoko Ono conceptual art piece and at the same time having a wonderful response to the colors in a Jean Baptiste Camille Corot painting.