Ever wanted to take the plunge, drop everything and become the artist you always knew you were destined to be? If so, you’re in luck.
Chairman Kato is a musician and artist based in Hackney Downs, working in a variety of visual media, ranging from photography through to painting and collage. Things weren’t always this way though: up until just a year ago, Kato was working as a doctor in A&E.
Then, at the beginning of 2014, Kato woke up one morning and abruptly ended his medical career; shocking his colleagues by announcing that he would begin work as an artist.
He had unwittingly made the biggest decision of his life.
Within a year he had been awarded an Arts Council grant and today continues to work across photography, painting, music and lecturing. He also runs an artist support group called The 100% Club.
Following on from the sell-out success of his ‘Creative Health’ lecture at Hackney Downs Studios, ‘The Art of Career Suicide’ will see Kato telling his story of how and why he finally decided to pursue his passions and what anyone with similar aspirations might learn from his baptism of fire.
Kato has produced large-scale installation work under random railway arches and public institutions such as the V&A. His recent works include an exhibition at the Oxo Tower (as part of the London Analogue Festival) and a project bringing art to the homeless, Lost and Found Artists.
He has also spent time documenting the Focus E15 Mothers, in their now infamous campaign on London’s housing crisis.
And this is something Kato feels anyone can achieve if they want: he sees us all as artists: “I identify myself broadly as an ‘artist’ but that’s just a label,” he says.
“For me, the term ‘artist’ is all encompassing. My dad, for example, is adamant that he doesn’t have a creative bone in his body but I see artistry in his cooking and his evocative turn of phrase.”
If you feel like tapping into your inner creative, or just hearing Kato’s incredible story, head down to the lecture at Hackney Downs Studios tomorrow evening: doors and drinks are from 7pm, with the lecture starting at 8pm.
Find out more and buy tickets here.
Photo credit: Jan Vrhovnik for EAT WORK ART