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Olive Kimoto is a multimedia artist building portals through  sound, video, performance, and  found objects. Her work explores both cultural and digital heritage, healing, memory, and ecological anxiety, as she seeks refuge in ancestral calls, brief glimpses of divinity and alternative pasts and futures.


duet for divine machines


Soup & Tart at MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles • 2023 

Duet for Divine Machines is a performance exploring both the tension and unexpected harmony between technology and spirit, automation and ritual, and emulation and enlightenment. The artist chants and sings in dialogue with a Buddha machine (niànfó jī 念佛機), a plastic electroacoustic artifact modernizing ritual, akin to an iPod exclusively filled with infinitely looping Buddhist chants. Ubiquitous across temples and Chinese metaphysical shops, these religious objects serve various purposes, acting as sound portals to emulate spiritual environments, as automated chant machines left on for 24 hours a day to keep hungry ghosts at bay, and even as audio-spiritual electronic companions to those in the ICU. The human voice serves as an organic and fluid counterpart, contrasting in collaboration with the tinny recitation mirrorings of the machine.

 resonance in the   non-age 

6-channel audio via plastic speakers on decomposing granite 

Ecology of the Edge at Human Resources, Los Angeles • 2019

Resonance in the Non-Age is a 6-channel sound sculpture examining our ongoing attempts at simulating the environments we are eradicating, and the ways in which we are becoming more in tune with the symbols of nature, than nature itself. The piece conceives an afuturity in which the earth is stripped not only of its natural resources and landscapes, but also of its cultural resources and imaginaries. Here, a speculative spiritual practice seeks to mimic the experiences of connection to a lost natural world, but only as luxury — an imperceptible image.


Viewers are invited to step inside a space encircled by artificial rocks amplifying the sounds of emulated nature, binaural beats, and meditation. The frequency featured, called the Schumann Resonance, is the frequency of the electromagnetic field of the Earth and is commonly found throughout nature at 7.83 hertz, also known as the "Earth's heartbeat". Linked to hypnosis, meditation, and brain waves, some believe that this frequency can alter human behavior. Inaudible to the human ear, the frequency is perceivable through an auditory illusion produced by two differing pure-tone sine waves presented to the listener dichotically.


Each stone serves its own purpose, each reflecting sounds across lively riverbanks, forest landscapes, and beyond. The viewer is encouraged to move about the inner space of encircling sound and explore new soundscapes as they intermingle. These archived auditory excerpts from natural environments that the Earth can no longer sustain serve to immerse the viewer in bygone soundscapes that have been displaced by the sounds of humans and machines. Using Western spiritual practices as a vehicle, the piece contemplates what will fill the space of nature when it ceases to exist, aiming to reconnect with the original shape of man that has transmuted into an increasingly inaccessible version of itself.


 the soft glow of one's   computer screen 

Video projected on an installation of suspended linen, fluttered by fans

Selfhood: The Space Between at Nous Tous Gallery, Los Angeles  2017

"I saw all the mirrors of the world, and none of them reflected me."

— Jorge Luis Borges


The Soft Glow of One's Computer Screen​ is a study on the surreal experience of bodies made vestigial in constant digital space. Recalling personal experiences as an internet-obsessed hikikomori (literally translating to "pulling inward", a sociocultural mental health phenomenon in which an individual disengages from society in favor of total isolation), the artist interacts with the resulting cycles of depersonalization, sensory fog, and alienation from one's self and the physical world. Using chroma key, the artist's body feedback loops into itself as it attempts to make sense of its own movement.


Wringing Water From a Stone is a monolith of memory, beckoning one's child self to reemerge from the obstructions of trauma. The stones stare and sing at you in a shared liminal space of timelessness as the glow of a CRT TV illuminates the purity of a past half-remembered.


Growing up on what felt like the edge of the world, the meaning of the height of its cliffs and the beauty of the ocean and what was found at its bottom would evolve the artist's life. Trauma, influencing the ability to remember, obfuscated Kimoto's childhood and invoked the feeling of being born out a mysterious, far away chasm.


In the process of creating this work — intimately consuming found media and reconnecting with people and places inhabiting the past — the artist excavated artifacts of bliss, innocence, and the living remains of a personal history encoded with the looming outlines of much larger evocations.


 wringing water   from a stone 

Found footage, sound (original composition), decomposing granite

Ooze Out and Away, Onehow at Bozo Mag Gallery, los angeles • 2022

hell money: we bleed red in 天堂 (paradise)

Heirlooms, found objects, silk

Selfhood: The Space Between at Nous Tous Gallery, Los Angeles • 2019

Hell Money: We Bleed Red in 天堂(Paradise) is an altar to the friction of the Chinese-American experience and the two culture’s shared complicated obsession with money. The artist draws from the personal experiences of her mother who survived Mao Zedong’s dictatorial China, to her current experiences in Trump’s capitalist America, and back to the Chinese folk tradition of burning money and symbols of material objects to be received by deceased relatives in the afterlife. Through each heirloom and artifact from Los Angeles' Chinatown, the artist illuminates the cultural, political, and traumatic parallels between two contrasting worlds that sees capitalism as inescapable even in death.

Found objects: Buddha box playing an audio recording of chanting monks, picture frame from a Chinese Association with an English translation of "Intangible Cultural Heritage" inscribed framing a holographic McDonalds ad, 1960s copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book imported from China, 2017 copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book found in America, hell money (American cash, iphone, rolex, credit card), red envelopes, copy of Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal found on the street, Foo dog figurine, Buddha's hand holding a lotus flower, praying incense, Chairman Mao piggybank, red candles, shopping cart filled with fresh rambutan.

2022-05-15 Olive Kimoto at Bozo Mag art show Nick Marshall.jpg

 Group Exhibitions 

2023    MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art

Soup & Tart

2022   Bozo Mag Gallery

Ooze Out and Away, Onehow

2019    Human Resources

Ecology of the Edge

2017    Nous Tous Gallery

Selfhood: The Space Between

photo by nick marshall

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