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forge her own artistic identity. Kasumi’s projects serve as a place of refuge where she can
privately abandon herself to the creative process and then the showing of her work
fosters a sense of pride and purpose that connects her to a larger global community. Sheila
McNamee notes, “Our problems in relationships are related to local, national and global
politics, the state of the economy, shifting sensibilities in cultural values, and so forth.
Metaphors, images, and technologies from other relational domains can re-construct a
problematic situation in relational terms” (McNamee, 1996). Kasumi’s meaning making,
derived from her creative construction process, allows her to move from the individual to
the collective and this is where the work can create a space for meaningful dialogue.
When it comes to learning digital technology, Kasumi is self-taught and this is attributed to
her rocket scientist father’s contribution “in that there was no technical thing that he
feared, even though failed experiments could have blown up the entire city. At least in my
work, this made me less fearful of technology a mistake is not going to blow up the
computer just crash it.”
Kasumi is a lifelong learner who is unafraid to try something new or be inventive with a
variety of art forms. She not only serves as a stellar role model for her students but also
for her son Kitao Sakurai. Kitao was recently listed by Filmmaker magazine as one of the
“25 new faces in independent film” in 2011
(http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/news/people/kitao-sakurai/).
Best Advice: Asking “What If” Questions
Kasumi offers good advice to any up-and-coming filmmaker or media artist when it comes
to navigating a freelance career. She comments, “I don’t think you can really become an
experimentalist until you’ve learned technique in whatever the field. Creativity is about
looking for answers, and experimentation is about asking the ‘what if’ question at each
turn. Just keep asking and keep your eyes open. Keep your ears open. Keep learning
new skills. Keep doing. Keep producing. Keep playing.”
The Liminal World of Freelance: A Cross Between Falling and Flying
She discusses how she feels sorry for people in dead-end jobs and says, “even as scary as
freelance is, I would not have been able to do a 9-5 job or at least do it happily. You are
always standing on the edge of a cliff when you freelance. Kasumi describes freelance as,
“a cross between falling and flying.” It was a beautiful way to describe the possibility of
“what’s next?” Kasumi cynically admits, “it keeps me from shooting myself in the head
because I want to know what happens next. If I’m gone, I won’t know.” In the freelance
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