• Local artist notes social issues through neighborhood drawings

    By: Alex Cnossen


    SEATTLE - Akira Ohiso draws, but not with a pen and paper. He uses his finger, his iPad and an iOS app.
    The half-Japanese, half-Irish artist plans to sketch his way across Seattle, accompanied by his wife, Ellie Ohiso, and their three children.
    Through Akira’s art, the family hopes to provide an artistic look into Seattle and speak to some of the social issues the city faces.
    “I don’t try to say too much with my pieces, just document … let people take away what they want,” Akira said. “I’m trying to highlight what’s going on in a community culturally, capture what people are feeling in Seattle.”

    The family moved here a few weeks ago, driving across country from the Catskills, a mountainous area in upstate New York, and settling near family in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

    Akira tries to take a walk through a neighborhood each day, taking photos with his iPad and editing them with a drawing app called “Sketches."  
     Akira and his wife hope the drawings can help spur conversation about diversity, homelessness, gentrification and other issues in Seattle.

    “In New York, you couldn’t have these conversations … the culture class has all but left the city,” Ellie Ohiso said. “Here the conversation is happening."

    While living in New York, they ran an environmental magazine called “Greendoor," as well as a photography magazine for girls.  

    Akira says the next step in his work might be to ask homeless residents to take their portraits.

    You can follow the Ohiso's work on Instagram or Facebook, or visit their website here.

    Akira and his wife (left) moved to Seattle from upstate New York in July. They met at Queens College in New York City.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    After taking the photo, Akira highlights the parts he believes to be important.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.




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