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Meet Natsumi Goldfish

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natsumi Golsdfish.

Natsumi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Japanese visual artist and a painter born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. I moved to United States in 2011. Ever since I was a little girl, my interest in drawing, painting, and making something in general was present, but it was much later that I learned that artists can be one’s profession.

I have always wanted to paint and paint in a big canvas, but my passion for art increased when I realize I can put so much voice in it. My interest increased as my interest in human being (human nature) get stronger and stronger. I received BA in Art from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in 2013 and since then, I have been painting as a full-time artist. I did not learn oil painting in the school as much as I wanted to, instead, I learned wide range of art form from painting to film and digital photography to printmaking. After graduating, I learned from books, from friends, and from internet about skills and techniques of oil painting that I use to create work today. I think we are lucky to be born and live in this time when we have so many ways to learn anything we want to know, we can gain knowledge even without experiencing it. It leads to my interest in having direct experience which is for me making art by hand. I want to make work that makes people have direct and indirect experiences of some emotion as if they are seeing someone and having an intimidate conversation or as if they are reading a novel. I want to make work that leads people to learn new things, to notice something new or that has been there but haven’t realized.

By observing society and depicting human nature at a distance, my goal is to deliver perspectives of things that are relatively unknown, unrealized, hidden, prohibited, or forgotten, but are nevertheless present within everyday life. Because I think that will take me to learn deeper about my question what is human being, what is the differences between humans and other creatures.

One of my goals as an international artist has been to have art studio or gallery in at least three locations, one in Japan, one in United States, and one in Europe (maybe in Berlin or Paris). So, so far, I am in midway for this part.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being artist is not an easy road, from the very beginning to the end, which should be end of your life. While I would say I am a born artist, I also chose to live as an artist. I see artist is a special trait: there is no such thing like I used to be an artist, you are either an artist for your life or not. It is constant fighting and manifesting to myself and to the society. It is what defined me who I am, a place I can contribute to the society. Being away from home is a big part of my struggle I would say because I have family there, while at the same time it is essential to me to create my work outside. I consciously chose to be outside of my country, then I am also being outsider/alien just by living here, so my work will worth for them to see. I love my family and my country you know, and I miss them a lot, but I also have many problems I have experienced there, both national and global problems, and I need to have access to see it from outside because that will help my work worth to be seen by them and by the world.

Please tell us more about your art.
I am a visual artist and painter. I make drawings, sculptures, and paintings. Lately, I have been working mainly oil painting and ink drawing. I am known for my Window painting series which I started in late 2011, and also blue ink drawing series called “Blue Infinity”. My work might appear vague compared to other contemporary painters’ work that have bold statement, for the first glance. It is because I am interested in visualizing something inside of us, something invisible, something we cannot judge, something unspoken, something that we don’t know what it is. I think that is the uniqueness of my work, something that is not clear, something that is uncompleted, something uncomfortable to see.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see pretty clearly, despite what art critics say, that art industry, especially fine art, will grow much stronger and bolder from now on, both for physically and online, and which is exciting. I don’t really worry about people will leave art, or the demand for art goes smaller at all…because that is not going to happen. (Although whether if your work will sell or not is a whole another story and challenge for individual artists.) The younger collectors community will grow, as we are already seeing in some places.

As technology improves, less machines we need for living as everything is combined into one technology, and it lasts longer than a decade ago. Art will be one fine investment and excitement for people to collect, one of a kind original pieces. If our online communications increase, like this pandemic has made us so, we will have more occasions to show our walls and our private spaces. What artworks they have in their place will be a big statement of who they are, what they support, what they like. Finally, when collectors grow more intellectual, variety of artwork that will be collected will be wider and deeper content, and artists will grow together. I am very excited to be part of this vision of the near future.

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