Claudia Kogachi talks to her obachaan (grandmother) on Skype every day, but in recent months has been unable to visit her at home in Oahu, Hawaiʻi, due to Covid-related border restrictions. In her wall painting for Te Tuhi, Kogachi remembers the most recent visit to Hawaiʻi with her mother, last summer, and some of the routine tasks that make up the days at her obachaan’s house—cleaning the freezer out, rolling musubi (spam sushi), barbecuing kalbi (Korean short ribs) for meals—activities running in parallel to ongoing and intermittent conversations between the women of three generations. Kogachi’s works are predominantly autobiographical, often including her extended family. This work registers a relationship between social exchange, attentiveness, and physical labour. While both Kogachi and her obachaan are frequently preoccupied with practical tasks, in this painting such concentration and work might also be understood as forms of familial contact, ways of staying in touch across distance.
Claudia Kogachi was born in Japan (Awaji-Shima) and graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland with a BFA in 2018. She was recently a part of Artspace Aotearoa’s The New Artists’ Show (2020), which featured Kogachi’s rug series, All The Careers I’ve Ever Considered Doing In Order To Finance My Art Career (2020), alongside work by Vanessa Crofskey, Millie Dow, Ary Jansen, Matt Ritani, Luke Shaw, Ashleigh Taupaki, Jasmine Tuia, Louie Zalk-Neale. Other recent exhibitions include Everyone Has A Horse Phase (2020), Sanderson Contemporary, Tāmaki Makaurau and Uncle Gagi (2020), play_station space, Pōneke Wellington.