Juniper Albert Tangpuz, a.k.a. T.J. was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Kansas and currently works as a mild mannered studio assistant at Johnson County Community College. He is able to express his art in a range of materials, but considers paper to be his "native language". He is known for unlocking the secrets of the paper and cardboard sheet. He envisions universes where ideas compress, expand, and inspire. See more of his work on his website.
What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.
It depends. There are two approaches when I make something. When I have a specific message I want to express then I try to keep focused and every decision is based on supporting that message. Other times, I just look at a piece of material and do some improvisational building. The work on view is a collection from different series of artworks . I picked pieces that had somehow affected the viewers in a special way.
What do you feel is your role as an artist?
It has changed and continues to change as I get older. At first, it was trying to gain an understanding of my soul. Then I felt I should be a guide who helps people get to the artistic realm.
What influences your practice/works?
I love to make things that I think should exist in this world. Most of the time I’m inspired by looking at people, places and things. I believe that most artists can see connections that most people overlook. I’ve found that some connections are absolutely absurd.
Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?
I’ve always liked the artists that make art from a place in there soul when they were free to play. I can always tell when it is genuine because it often has no other intention but to bring someone to happiness. I appreciate the art when I can sense that it flowed out naturally.
What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process?
The Elements of Pop-up by David A. Carter
Between the Folds: A Film About Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places