Drue Kataoka and the Fine Line Between Technology and Art

"Broken Heart's" -- a virtual reality art piece by Drue Kataoka

Drue Kataoka is an artist who pushes the bounds of art and technology by combining them. She’s known for her interactive pieces and political commentary through her art.

In her early years, Kataoka and her family lived in Tokyo, Japan before moving to the United States. From there she moved all over the country (Washington, D.C., Seattle, Wash. and Silicon Valley, Calif.). Now she is the CEO of her own art gallery, the first Asian-American woman to be the face of Clubhouse, a Young Global Leader & Cultural Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and much more.

"Broken Heart's" -- a virtual reality art piece by Drue Kataoka
“Broken Heart’s” — a virtual reality art piece by Drue Kataoka


Kataoka uses technology like virtual reality to build new pieces that viewers can interact with and become a part of the pieces themselves. This is due to her strong interest in user involvement in art pieces, as well as how this affects the environment.

I believe that Technology is Art, and Art is Technology. And to say otherwise is to do a tremendous disservice to both.

Live art such as music and dance is never the same and her art is no exception. Kataoka’s art is alive and changes with each new viewer and how they interact within the piece. Notably, her recent piece “Tree of Pascal” is a physical print of 100 participants brain waves on a three-dimensional platform which holds a live tree in.

This capture of life and the growth of new life is one of the many clever ways Kataoka captures life, as well as an inventive use of technology, straying from the binary that art and technology are two different things.

Kataoka and participant observing "Tree of pascal" as their brain waves are printed on the piece.
Kataoka and participant observing “Tree of pascal” as their brain waves are printed on the piece. (Photo via https://www.drue.net/)


Technology used in stunning and unique ways is a refreshing and impactful way to express Kataoka’s own political commentary. Pieces such as “400,000 Is Not A Number,” and “#OnlineProtest, Wounded Paintings” support a movement or social/political commentary on active situations.

Having already built a platform, Kataoka is able to reach many people with her inspiring art works. For instance, her #LoveLikeJo piece made after the assassination of Jo Cox, a member of the UK Parliament and humanitarian, spread throughout major cities across the globe.

Her piece was printed on may posters and shirts as a way to remember and continue everything Jo Cox stood for.

To learn more, check out her website at https://www.drue.net/.

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