Nomi Chi

Nomi Chi is an artist who currently resides in Vancouver, B.C. She has a multidisciplinary practice which pivots around tattooing and painting, with the occasional foray into sculpture. Prevalent motifs flirt with feminist theory, desire, death, the absurd, and sardonic humour. Nomi Chi earned her BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2015. 

How did you end up making what you make?

A gumbo of neuroticisms and some art theory drive me to do the things that I do. So far, tattooing and making pictures lends well to these impulses. 

What have you learned in an unexpected place or from an unexpected person that informs your making?

When I was a child, I owned a pop-up book about outer space/the universe which, in  a particular chapter, expounded and illustrated the idea of the infinite. When that concept finally clicked, is when I had my first anxiety attack. Capturing or running away from that feeling has, since then, in some way or another, permeated into my art process. 

What inspires or drives you to make what you make?

Making objects, tattoos and pictures involves many of my absolute favourite activities: research, reflexive thinking, learning, un-learning, building, breaking, whining (a lot of whining, actually) snack breaks, and making messes. 

Who are some of your favourite other makers? Local? Worldwide?

My partner, Joel Rich, makes wonderful pictures and wonderful chicken soup. My professional and perhaps-not-so-conventionally-professional peers are also pretty fantastic.  

What is your favourite season and why?

Summer because I am a sun worshipper and wearing clothes sucks. 

Who is your celebrity crush?

Steve “hottie babe man” Buscemi. 

How do you connect to your land base?

Bike around the city between 3-6 in the morning. 

Do you have any sort of mantra or quote that strikes you?

Timothy Leary advised, “find the others”. 

Do you remember the first thing you made that you felt was great/ the first time you found passion in being a maker?

You know that clay-building process where you roll the clay out into a long ‘snake’ and coil it around a circular base until it becomes a vessel of sorts? I made millions of those when I was in summer camp as a child. I gave them to my parents. They were ambivalent, I think, to have so many lumpy cups/ash trays/etc’s. It was the first time my intentions were manifested into a physical object (bonus: with a utilitarian purpose) and it felt grand.