Devon Tsuno

Devon TsunoArtist’s Statement

Los Angeles is always described as a city of sprawl. But it is also a massively layered city, growing amidst social stratification and an unsound ecology — people battling for space and an array of international horticulture left as evidence. Neighborhoods are populated, vacated and then repopulated. Communities united and communities restructured.

Working with spray paint and acrylic on handmade Japanese, Dutch and Indian papers, my most recent series of paintings focuses on the Los Angeles landscape’s non-native plants and bodies of water. These abstractions of densely layered water and plants are re-imagined from photographs taken on cycling, fly fishing and commuting sojourns on the streets of Los Angeles along the San Gabriel River, Ballona Creek, Los Angeles River, and the Mid-Wilshire area of the city. These paintings document the light, color, community, history and visual confrontations of pictorial and abstract space using color theory and hard edge abstraction analogous to the diversity of my neighbors.

Most recent experimentation’s have resulted in a series of prints created with a Risograph, a 1990s-era printing system using technology similar to fax machines, screen printing and designed for high-volume photocopying and printing. I am re-purposing this machine to created a series of artist’s books and prints in collaboration other artists, schools and community members. These prints and books are being distributed in the tens of thousands in the greater Los Angeles area to document the Los Angeles watershed and tributaries.

My practice recalls a city organism composed of intense color and beautifully controlled concrete with space and light well integrated, but often interdicted by violently unexpected layers of vegetation and water. These modes of observation, process, recollection, and criticism, dictate how I choose to work. It is living in the world of Los Angeles that interests me.



Selected Solo Exhibitions

Weingart Gallery, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

High Water, Duke Gallery, Azusa Pacific College, Azusa, CA

Horticulture, Los Angeles, Gallery Lara, Tokyo, Japan

Insurgent Horticulture, PØST, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

Topical Constructions, curated by Veronica Duarte, Gun Gallery, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Chockablock, curated by Kristina Newhouse, University Art Museum, California State
University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Time Segments, curated by Hans van der Mark, Markant Art Projects, Eext, The Netherlands

Venice Beach Biennial, curated by Ali Subotnick, The Hammer Museum, Venice Beach, CA

Selected Community-Based Artwork

Literacy and Art
: Concrete Walls Library at Mark Twain Middle School, Autonomie, Los Angeles, CA

Santa Cruz Island Ironwood Reallocation:
California Native Plants Project, Theodore Payne Foundation, Manhattan Beach, CA

Case Study: LØS ANGELES, Concrete Walls Projects at PØST, Los Angeles

Mass Emergencies, A collaboration between Concrete Walls Projects, Cypress College, &
CSULB, Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA

Selected Fellowships and Awards

Windgate Foundation Artist in Residence, Azusa Pacific College

Kaus Australis Artist in Residence, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Teacher Leader, Center X, UCLA
Outstanding Adjunct Faculty, Cypress College, Cypress, CA


MFA Painting and Drawing, Claremont Graduate University

BFA Painting and Drawing, California State University Long Beach