By Nicole Fitzgerald
When: Monday, March 26
Where: Maxx Fish
Taka Sudo is not your ordinary artist.
He didn’t study formally. He opts for hoodies over canvases and it’s no surprise his creative rumblings are searching out a more creative showcase than the standard art gallery space.
Sudo’s graphic art was the perfect fit for a monthly cutting-edge art night in Whistler called Audio/Visual, which hangs local art and music in one funky lounge hangout this Monday, March 26 at Maxx Fish.
“I am really happy to show my stuff,” said the Japanese native. “I hope people will come to the show and will be happy to see my art.”
Audio/Visual is a once-a-month local artist showcase hosted by DJ and artist Jon Parris who exhibits underground artwork along side live bands or DJ sets. Parris wanted to give local artwork outside of the usual landscape fare a public outlet for viewing.
“I decided to start this night partly due to my own lack of inspiration,” Parris said. “Going to art shows has always inspired me to express my creativity. But if I am not keeping regular company with other creative types I usually get distracted. This is a way to bring both my musical and artistic sides together on a regular basis. And hopefully do the same for others in the process.”
In the words of another dreamer, “I have a dream” — the inspiration behind Sudo’s latest textile artwork — Sudo’s dream is to see his artwork in motion in the everyday, rather than stagnate on a wall.
Sudo shows up to an interview with Pique Newsmagazine wearing a hoodie from this season’s line by his three-year-old company called Lade. The graphics are sketchy, with faces and shapes swirling in a collage of images. Words from Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream speech work their way onto the sweat top. Sudo picks a different inspiration each season for his clothing line. This season he draws from the greatness of King and Gandhi.
The viewer needs to look closely at the graphic party to see a likeness of Gandhi in the corner of Sudo’s sweatshirt. The Whistlerite’s artwork isn’t something to be assessed quickly. It’s like a conversation among many minds, twisting and turning to different thoughts, but never arriving at a definitive conclusion.
Enjoying the process is as evident in Sudo’s artist way as it is in his illustrations.
Sudo came to Whistler five years ago in search of powder and mountain living. Compared to life in Tokyo, Sudo literally had mountains of time to fill and doodlings became drawings and drawings creative vision when a friend named Yoshi Aida decided the two should partner to create a clothing line celebrating Sudo’s artwork.
Lade was born along with a yearly showing of different designs making their way onto hoodies, T-shirts and long-sleeve shirts sold at El Kartel in Vancouver and Evolution and TMC Freeriderz Ski Shop in Whistler.
Sudo’s imagination also expands off the clothing rack with his creative vision splashing itself onto skateboards as well as traditional canvases, but the effect is anything but ordinary.
Sudo calls his work a “nerdy style”, referring to the odd characters in his images.
The term nerd embodies another necessary component of both producing non-mainstream artwork as well as having the business brains to see that creative genius become a sustainable business.
“Starting a business is always tough,” said the artist by day and Teppan Village chef by night. “Spending lots of money, but it’s paying off.”
Thinking big is exactly what this talented scribbler should be doing, according to the inspiration behind one of his sweatshirt illustrations:
“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” – Gandhi.