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Meet the Artist: Caroline Mak

Brooklyn Arts Council

Jun 2007

Original Post

Posted on:
October 2, 2012
Posted in:
Featured Artists


Caroline Mak/ installation artist and mixed media

Where are you from? How long have you lived in Brooklyn?

I’m from Hong Kong and I’ve been in Brooklyn for 7 years. I moved here after finishing my MFA at University of Chicago.

How long have you been a practicing artist? 

I got my MFA in 2005 and have been practicing ever since.

Who or what influenced your decision to become an artist?

It was a gradual affair. My undergraduate degree was not in art (it was in Biology actually), but I was always very drawn to the experimental aspect of art and decided I want to get my MFA. The love of making art, of making things has sustained my desire to keep on being an artist.

What do/did your parents do for a living and were they supportive of you becoming an artist?

My parents: engineer and nurse. They were probably surprised that I ended up with the current career path that I have, but they have always been very supportive of most things that I’ve done. Doing something that you are passionate about is a rare opportunity and I’ve been very lucky that my family understands that.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

My bachelor’s degree was in Biology and I studied at Stanford University. My MFA was from University of  Chicago.

What inspires you artistically?

Current inspirations : Absurdities in every day objects; strange domestic instruments (I have a collection of vintage kitchen tools that resemble almost macabre devices); ways that people repair things; how things become damaged and worn out.

Which other artists inspire you?

A little bit too many to name, but current shows that I recently show and loved this past month:

    • Al Taylor’s show at David Zwirner
    • Adriane Colburn’s work at Smack Mellon
    • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s solo show at Jack Shainman

Do you make a living from your art? If not, do you have a “day job” and what is it?

I do have a parallel career in the food & beverage world. I’m one of the co-founders of Brooklyn Soda Works. We make handmade carbonated beverages and sell directly to the public, as well as to bars & restaurants. I started that 2.5 years ago with my boyfriend Antonio Ramos.

How did you get started presenting your work publically?

I spend a lot of time researching residencies that would suit that I do, and applying for grants. The first fellowship I got that I was really proud of, was the Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park. And since my work is not particularly sellable, it means a lot of my time as an artist is spent researching opportunities like this.


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