We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Nakajima and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, why did you pursue a creative career?
I thought that pursuing a creative career would give me the opportunity to bridge gaps, whether it be between different cultures, perspectives, or ways of living. I’ve always been intrigued by the relationships between ourselves and the spaces around us, and knew that with whatever work I did, I wanted to express ideas in a spatial and visual way. Creativity feeds an innate impulse to create order out of chaos by assigning meaning to things found in our surroundings; it’s a form of communication that has the power to make people feel like they have a place in the world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start by taking my friend to my favorite neighborhood breakfast/lunch spot to get their shiitake scrambled eggs with their signature salad, followed by a sunset hike through Elysian Park.
LA and greater LA is blessed with great diversity in food options; we’d do a dinner in Thai Town one night, and another day we’d go down to Santa Ana to get Vietnamese food, or to San Gabriel Valley for dim sum. Messob in Little Ethiopia is another fun spot. We also might go to Sonoratown for their chicken Chivichangas.
Another day could be a gallery/museum day. My favorite gallery here is Sage Culture, located near the Arts District. They have such integrity in their vision and so much passion for the artists they represent. I love how most of the works they feature are conceptually rooted in nature and use natural materials in fascinating ways. Pio Pico, Tanya Bonakdar, Roberts Projects, CAAM, and some galleries in Chinatown would be the next stops.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My step-grandmother saw that I enjoyed arts and crafts at an early age and took the initiative to give me lessons on specific things like making ornaments out of homemade dough or making 3D collages out of photographs and found materials. These lessons really stuck with me and taught me how to turn anything into an art project.
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/cathnaka
Asato Iida, Elizabeth Carababas, Johnny Le