Along with HOT TEA and AJ Fosik, Okuda San Miguel is part of one of three artists crafting installation projects at SCOPE Miami Beach‘s atrium (Dec. 4-9), marking Hi-Fructose’s 14th year in publishing. We recently caught up with Okuda on his major projects from this year and what’s ahead. (He was also the cover artist for Hi-Fructose Vol. 43, available here.)
Hi-Fructose: This year, you’ve done both your tallest outdoor mural ever in Toronto (above) and largest public art project ever in Boston. What lessons came from working on those specific projects?
Okuda San Miguel: I am super happy, because those projects happened this year and I learned the important safety rules to work on a swing stage for [buildings bigger than 10 floors], where I can’t use the usual lifts. We had to go two days to class and exams to get the permission to work on heights, because of Canadian rules. And in Boston, my team Ink and Movement and I went a step further installation on public spaces wise: tighter pieces, a special location, a walk along my iconography surrounded by an incredible modern architecture. It has been a perfect combo.
HF: At the same time, you’ve been working on smaller, gallery-friendly pieces. What attracts you to creating works on these differing scales?
OSM: I love to create big sizes, because I come from painting big walls in the street before starting with the studio works. And I think big scales play better with the architecture and serve to fight against the advertising invasion in the streets. It can interact better with the big concrete structures of the cities, and I love to change the skyline view when I paint buildings, like in Toronto.
HF: You’ve worked in so many mediums by now. Are there any new ones you are currently hoping to explore soon?
OSM: Yes, I have on mind to bring the sculptures to the architecture field. I would love to do big animals or heads where real people can live inside or be used to work, too. I would love to do a film or [animated film] where my characters can live in my special landscapes and bring them to reality. I am also planning to do something big with music festivals, where the people can interact with my installations and the music at the same time. And then there’s this project I have in mind where I create the setting for a great classical opera.
HF: Can you give any hints about what you’re working on for the SCOPE project?
OSM: I am very happy to be the image of the art fair. I will be bringing a monumental mural and sculpture installation to SCOPE Miami Beach’s 10,000 ft. atrium space to greet visitors as they first arrive. And I have some new paintings, sculptures, and embroideries that I will show it inside the art fair at the Mirus Gallery booth.