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29 Oct 2018

Interview | In Conversation with CHiKA

Meet CHiKA, a Japanese-born, New York based artist and New Media Resident at Mana Contemporary known for her LED lights, live video projections, and interactive works. Exhibited at numerous international venues and festivals, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art and Design and more, CHiKA’s take on the experiential art space stands out amongst the masses making her minimalist geometric pieces love at first light.

We recently sat down with the artist to discuss her take on art and technology, invisible and visible lights, her newest residency with Future Lab at New York’s School of Visual Arts, and and her upcoming CultureHub LED Mappathon™ workshop. Read on to see why CHiKA is one to watch. 

Galaxy, LED Light Installation, 2017 @ Elsewhere. Brooklyn (image c/o CHiKA)

Lightbox: We like what you do. Tell us a little bit about your work and how you create it…

CHiKA: I play with Japanese homophones as a concept. Words have the same pronunciation but different meanings. For example, “EN” at the Bronx Museum means Circle ( 円 ), Connection ( 縁 ), and Feast ( 宴 ). “SEI05” at The New York Hall of Science means Star ( 星 ), Silent ( 静 ), Live  ( 生 ).

All these meanings are hidden in the title of my artwork and help create a structure that gives meaning for co-creation with the public using the latest technology.

After coming up with a concept, I make a little goal and keep on creating and testing until just before the show starts. I love to find solutions and challenge.

L: What inspires your artistry?

C: I’m inspired by the invisible and visible, lights, shapes, sound in darkness, and co-creation with my public.

L: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist? 

C: Yes, I always want to be an artist.

SEI03, LED light installation with Sound, 2015 (image c/o CHiKA)

L: What comes first? Art or technology?

C: I do not think of art and technology separately. I process my creation with art and tech together. No separation. Technology helps to reveal invisibility with the audience, which excites me very much.

L: So what’s next?

C: I am very excited to be in the Future Lab Residency program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City next January. I will be researching and making new ways to fabricate my artwork. I also want a challenge to create installations without a computer. Simple on-and-off analog light work with new fabrication structures, prints, and video work.

I am also a founder of Mappathon™ and my LED Mappathon™ workshop at CultureHub is coming up on November 17th-18th. Students will learn basic knowledge of Projection Mapping technology to map Digital LED lights. Find out more information about the upcoming workshop here.

EN04 INTERACTIVE LED Light Installation with Dound, 2017 (image c/o CHiKA)

Like what you see? Follow the artist on instagram @_imagima.

Featured image credit: SEI05 – 2018 Interactive LED Lights Installation (image c/o CHiKA from the New York Hall of Science Museum)