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Taiji Terasaki: The Artist-Activist Fighting Food Insecurity and Climate Change
Episode 21411th April 2023 • Not Real Art • Crewest Studio
00:00:00 01:01:39

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Food and the environment are inextricably linked—everything we eat has a footprint. Since the 1950s, industrialized food production and modern-day overconsumption have contributed to climate change, environmental degradation, and economic depression. Still, many innovators are working to find sustainable ways to feed the world's population. 

Food as a means to create positive change has long inspired Taiji Terasaki, a Japanese American artist and activist based in Hawaii. Raised in a family of scientists and creatives, Taiji combines the best of both worlds to create work across a wide variety of mediums. From large-scale installations to pioneering “mist” photography, Taiji’s cutting-edge presentations emphasize the urgency and importance of environmental conservation. 

On today’s podcast, host and NOT REAL ART founder Scott “Sourdough” Power chats with Taiji about the artist’s mission to improve life on Earth for all its inhabitants. “Believe me, I never dreamed I would be an activist,” Taiji tells NOT REAL ART. “I never dreamed that I would be [sharing] my opinion on a podcast, but what I’m learning is [how artists] can find a voice.” Taiji also discusses his latest project, Recipes to Nourish Communities, an interactive mural on display at the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles’ recently renovated headquarters. The mural invites viewers to consider food as nourishment for the body, a direct exchange between themselves and their environment. “I really believe that the visual arts should make a difference in our world and what our future will become,” Taiji says. 

Join us today as Taiji and Scott discuss the most pressing issues of our time: food insecurity, the organizations that seek to tackle it, and the ultimate resilience of the natural world. “When you see what nature is capable of, how it can rebound, it is amazing,” Taiji tells Scott. Don’t miss this crucial conversation on the health and wellbeing of planet Earth. 

In Today’s Podcast Episode

Taiji Terasaki discusses…

  • What artists and scientists have in common
  • How an unconventional childhood impacted his innovative art practice
  • Why raising his own children forced him to consider the world they’ll inherit
  • His advice for building a studio team and taking criticism from gallerists
  • How Recipes to Nourish Communities tackles food insecurity in LA
  • The four organizations that benefit from Recipes to Nourish Communities
  • The concept of rewilding and the importance of biodiversity in food production
  • Why he ultimately feel positive about climate change and our ability to stem its rising tide

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