Ako Castuera’s ceramic sculptures combine animal, human, landscape and architectural elements, describing an interwoven profusion of life that calls into question our hierarchically ordered beliefs around human / non-human, animate / inanimate. Her hybrid forms suggest a world of upended borders in which connections to people, place, self and other are vividly expressed in a variety of traditional techniques that often give way to unorthodox applications.
Drawing from familiar, domestic and popular forms such as textiles, toys, strip malls and talismans, Ako’s work is both accessible and unexpected. A native Angeleno, Ako’s roots carry rich material and intangible cultural heritage from Okinawa and Mexico into today’s American mainstream culture. An exhibiting artist in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Ako’s sensibility is also reflected in the popular animated television show, “Adventure Time,” for which she was a storyboard artist and writer for several years.