Joanna Chak was born in 1989 in Tokyo, Japan and grew up around the world. She gained her BFA from Parsons, The New School of Design and her BA in Philosophy from the New School University. Chak's work seeks to question accepted social norms and delve deeper into our quotidian, examining existing social systems and environments. Her previous work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions in New York and Singapore. In 2015, Chak is the selected artist of the “International Residency Exchange Program” between Bamboo Curtain Studio and TAV Singapore.
Examining concepts of time and wait in an urban environment, her project “Time in Line/Overwait”, featured in New York’s Art in Odd Places Festival. Cuckoo-clocked shaped brooches with the engraving “7 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes waiting for transportation” were given to people standing in lines. In the time spent waiting, conversations on the concept of queuing and tacit agreement to wait for people or services provided branched into larger discussions about etiquette, politeness, patience, and time.
During her residency at Bamboo Curtain Studios, Chak’s work will draw from the 1985 NASA Clean Air Study which found a concentrated buildup of toxins in the air, the product of modern synthetic materials in energy-efficient, airtight buildings with reduced circulation. These toxins cause symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, congestion. Certain houseplants can regulate and restore air quality, effectively filtering out airborne toxins from the synthetic objects we use every day.
She hopes to promote awareness of these local plants and their life-enhancing properties by illustrating a book of local flora and fauna to make their identity, names and properties more well known, and engaging the local community in conversation about air quality by distributing portable air purifying accessories. Made from the same plants, these accessories will allow people to purify the air around them, and allow them to grow their own clean spaces.