Around the Blok. Vol. 8 - Yu Yu Shiratori
Yu Yu Shiratori is an artist living in Tucson. Using metal work and embroidery, she manifests her perspective of the universe, from galaxies to the human body.
On a white hot day, I sit at her kitchen table. She offers me water and a mesquite chocolate bar to snack on. She mentions, “I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like chocolate. Or plants for that matter.” We talk about her work and life as she takes me through her home, showing me her studio and process, her universe. I photograph her as she goes through her day. It’s calm and purposeful with 90’s punk playing softly in the background. Later as I get ready to head home, she plucks some grapefruits from her yard and offers them to me for my journey back to Phoenix. I notice 3 pink flamingos in her yard, and comment on them. “My goal is to have a front yard full of pink plastic flamingos someday.” Leaving her house, I’m reminded that we all have magic in us.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m a multi-medium artist residing in Tucson, Arizona. My work is inspired from earth to the edges of the universe.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
I create because it makes life fun. When I run into someone wearing my work (jewelry), it’s so inspiring. It’s like we’re already friends. Creating encourages me to question reality and social norms. It’s building the universe I want to live in.
WHAT BENEFIT DOES ART PROVIDE TO SOCIETY?
Art provides a different perspective and different lifestyle. It’s a gateway to engage with the world more intimately and to see things with a different lens.
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE TO OTHERS CHASING THEIR DREAMS?
“Nana karoki yaoki” is a Japanese proverb my father would often recite – fall seven times, get up eight. Everyone falls, we all trip up in different ways, but ultimately how we get up and proceed is what matters. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing, but builds a stronger foundation of what you want. Life doesn’t last forever – neither do the bad days – so enjoy it all while you still can. Put in the hours to make your dream happen.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
My biggest inspiration, in my work and life philosophy, is the fact that we even exist.
WHEN YOU THINK OF HOME, WHAT COMES TO MIND?
It’s what you cherish the most. Home to me is friends and family occupying my heart space.