Baco Ohama

Region: Calgary AB
Sansei | Born 1951, Alberta


Baco Ohama describes herself as a sensorialist, a writer, a text walker, a maker, and as an artist who works with the felt and the found. She says she is drawn to slow conversations and everyday poetics, and often finds herself thinking about the relationships between history, language, and location. A sansei who grew up on a farm in southern Alberta, she returned in 2016 to the prairies and currently lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Baco previously taught, mostly part time, at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta; at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec; at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, British Columbia; and most recently at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Working with students over the years was a wonderfully rich experience and important part of her life, she says, “but I made the shift to more fully immerse myself in my creative practice in recent years, to focus on self care and to see where the days would lead me.”

Artist Statement

For a long time I have had an interest in language; in what gets carried and conveyed, hidden and revealed, through one’s use of language; and in what gets discovered and understood when working with language as one aspect of an artistic practice. My interest is in building, telling, and sharing stories in ways that might be experienced through glimmers and bits or felt in the relational spaces between locations and generations, between the dreams of night and the sensory experiences of day, between the uncanny and the mundane, and between the spoken and the heard.

While my works often take the form of postcards, bookworks, sound or video works, photographs, poems, performative readings, or installations — I actually never know ahead of time what form new works will take. My approach is one of following my curiosity and wonderings, my intuition and exploratory play, and to simply trust myself and to see what surfaces, and what I might discover, in the process. Some of this work is shared on my wings walking water website.

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