Back Talk: A conversation with Fumi Nakamura

March 27, 2012


Fumi Nakamura was born in December 1984 in a small town called Shimizu outside of Shizuoka, Japan. Fumi grew up surrounded by beautiful mountains and the ocean and this environment has had a lasting effect on her work. She will open a new exhibition, Our Hands Will Eventually Destroy Everything Beautiful, at Thinkspace Gallery this Saturday, March 31st.

Fumi moved to the United States just before her 12th birthday with her mother and brother. Fumi spent her middle school to college years in beautiful Northern California where she graduated from San Jose State University with a BFA Pictorial Arts degree in the fall of 2007.


Fumi currently lives in the New York City area where she works as a freelance illustrator and designer. Her work has shown the world over as well as taking part in the prestigious Semi-Permanent design event in Australia (2005).



1. One reason you make art:

So I don’t have nightmares and be buried under heavy thoughts and emotions all the time. For my mental sake.


2. The last good movie you saw:

“We Need to Talk About Kevin”


3. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:

Publication business - its coming together slowly but not quite there yet but I've always loved books, especially the design and construction of books.


4. Favorite country or city visited:

Antwarp, Belgin or Copenhagen, Denmark.



5. A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:

Chaos, Consequence, Result


6. Something you want the world to know about you:

I don’t want people to know about me much. I like to have a quiet and simple life.


7. Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:

When people are not honest enough.


8. Something that concerns you:

Tomorrow's weather



9. Artists you admire:

Kiyoshi Kuroda, Julie Mehretu, Menglef


10. Favorite quote(s):

The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions - Susan Sontag


11. The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?

My first record I bought was probably Dead Kennedy's Nazi Punk Fuck Off 7 inch. The last record I've bought was Alog's Unemployed (well, it was gifted) and also downloaded FACT Magazine's FACT Mix 295 : The Soft Moon.


12. Something you do when you’re procrastinating?

Cooking, baking and looking for new music to listen to.



13. What is your most defining characteristic?

Intense and always stressed out


14. What is your greatest fear?

Forgetting and being forgotten by important people


15. The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:

No offense, I don't like this question.


16. Your greatest quality:

Detail oriented


17. Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:

Stop regretting and move on to next steps.


18. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?

Moving country to country, city to city, apartment to apartment, state to state - yes it was stressful but it did great things to me - meeting great people, getting exposed to new things and new possibilities! Totally worth it!



19. Something you wish you had known five years ago:

What was I doing when I was 22?



20. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?

Stronger body of work, move to another country, and publication.