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Check out Anna Kuo’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Kuo.

Anna, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I spent the first part of my life in Taipei, Taiwan, before moving to the US for college. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I wrote incessantly, with not a lot of understanding of whether the work was good or not, but I had a great time doing it! It was an easy way to create anything. The characters, locations, situations could be anything at all. It felt so free to write.

When I moved to the US, I became increasingly aware of how poor my English writing had been and started to feel stumped by my inability to express myself accurately with words. During that time, I was introduced to a lot of filmmakers whose work really opened my eyes to the possibilities of filmmaking. How beautiful it can be, and how powerful of a storytelling tool it is. I started to make videos and short films and found that it was a great way to express myself in a way I couldn’t do with writing anymore.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I’m a filmmaker and photographer. I make short video contents that range from documentary, music video, to experimental shorts. Recently I’ve been very interested in spaces and the people who inhabit them. Different spaces can be so interesting because of how personal they are, even if it’s for commercial use. I recently did a photo series on the storefronts of LA, specifically in Chinatown and Koreatown. There’s so much characteristic in every store, and I’m particularly interested in the ones run by immigrants. There’s a hybrid between cultures so present in the decoration: the way it’s set up, the customers, everything.

Moving to the US has changed my life quite literally. I’m far away from my family and everything I had been familiar with. Being away from my hometown is making see it in a completely different light. So many aspects that were “usual” in my everyday life was suddenly so different. The streets look different, the holidays don’t match up, the size of trucks are incomparable, and the list goes on. I take a lot of photographs of Taiwan when I visit. It’s the best way for me to document home in a specific moment in time. And that’s what I want to do with the film work I do as well. Even as my taste will continue to change, I want to be able to document what I care about, my sensibilities, in this moment in time that I can look back on and remember.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I think there has always been a lot of artists making work that reflects what’s going on in the world around them, but we get to see them a lot more immediately now. Recently, I got to see the documentary For Sama that was about the Syrian civil war. The film is told from the perspective of a mother who’s a rebel activist as she documents her year in Aleppo right before the regime took over. She dedicates the film to her daughter, who was born right in that year. It was a harrowing film to watch, but it was a more accurate depiction of the war than any news outlet could convey because of the time it took to tell the story. Films and photography have the ability to capture what’s going on and be able to spread that, which is extremely powerful.

I’m not making any work at this moment that’s about current issues and events, but what’s going on in the world affects what I care about and how I think. Right now, representation is the most direct way I’m reacting to current events in my work. I’m also making a fashion campaign for a sustainable clothing brand, and I do hope to make more work highlighting the importance of conservation and sustainability to shed more light on the issue.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see my work on my website, annakuo.co.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Evan Yee

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