Artist Interview: Pink Week Show Part I

Category: Art


This November our art exhibition at WAL Public Market is Pink Week Show!

On view November 13th – December 10th, Pink Week Show will celebrate the 22nd Annual Pink Week, the conceptual art piece in the form of a holiday which aims to temporarily liberate the color pink from all meaning.

The exhibition will include an installation by Bay Area artist Tofu, made up of pink postcards mailed to the artist from around the world. The show will also include pink themed work by local artists and Pink Week founder herself, Gioia Fonda.

In Part I of our November artist interview, I asked Tofu some questions about his work and involvement in the show:


Is this your first time participating in a Pink Week Show? 

No, I have been in a few. I first met Gioia in 2006 when I was in my first Pink Week show.


How did you come up with the idea for the Pink Mail Art Show?

I “accidentally” got involved with mail art about four years ago.  It has been a growing part of what I do.  I have launched mail art projects such as the Millennia Mail Art Project.  That is what is known as an “add-and-pass” where mail artists receive art, add something and then mail it on to another mail artist.  This one was based on geologic layers.  Geo Graphic Mail was a play on words where I used old museum postcards of nude art and “censored” them with pieces of maps.  

I love finding old bits of ephemera hidden in books and that lead to a series of mail art to hide in books.   I sent out some mail art and started receiving art to be hidden in my books in return.  We also had an afternoon of making more mail art to hide in books at the San Francisco Correspondence Coop.  You can see more about it on my blog.

I have participated in a number of mail art shows around the world, and have curated shows as well.  This is the first time I am the curator for a mail art show.  San Francisco is under incredible pressure right now and there is barely any space to show art.  I love that Sacramento has room and offers artists the chance to exhibit their work.  A Pink Mail Art show for Pink Week became obvious.


Dahlias, by Tofu

Dahlias, by Tofu




Do you have any favorite postcards from the show?

Yes, the response has been fantastic, over 220 participating artists and there is a wide range of styles and mediums.  One piece I particularly like is an embroidered postcard that arrived from Montana.  And, as is so often the case with mail art, it was sent anonymously.   



Much of your work is based around maps, postcards, or paper collages- as our world becomes increasingly more digital, where does that leave you as an artist?

I have been exploring this idea for a few years now and it began when I was working on the 2011 Project.  And more about the results here.  

I recognize that our digitized world is resulting in less collage material, or as I call it, collage fodder.  My response has been to start making my own material for purposes of cutting it up for collages.   The collagescapes, where I paint paper and then cut it up and reassemble the pieces, are a direct result of this new direction in my work.



What artists or styles influence your work?

I look at art a lot.  And that includes museum and exhibit visits a few times every month.  I enjoy a broad range but am really drawn to painters and how they use color.  That includes Bay Area Figurative giants like Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn to Georgia O’Keefe and Maynard Dixon to Mark Rothko.  And let’s not forget Armin Hansen.  The recent show at the Crocker Art Museum was amazing. 



What is your favorite pink object?

If I had to pick, I might say the 1920s “Pink Lady” that hangs in my kitchen.  She is one of my father’s thrift store finds from Buffalo, New York.  She hung on various walls growing up and eventually made it out to San Francisco.  I finally did some research and discovered the artist was Violet Schwender Gordon.  She also was also a teacher of Fashion and Design in the New York State University system (more about the piece here).

Pink Lady

Thanks, Tofu! We’re so excited for this show!! Please join us for the second Saturday reception November 14th, from 6-9PM (RSVP on our event page here). Stay tuned for Part II of our November artist interview, which features Pink Week founder Gioia Fonda!