SJMade ’18: Harumo Bakery

A colorful community means a flourishing collective of local makers and small businesses. Whether it be through craft fairs or pop-up shops, San Jose Made is a significant driver of maker culture in the Bay Area. This couldn’t be more evident than through its annual San Jose Craft Holiday Fair, an event which consists of over 250 craft makers, food vendors, artists, designers, and emerging brands coalescing under the tent-like dome of South Hall. Fittingly located in Silicon Valley’s creative district SoFA—an area brimming with colorful galleries and lively murals—SJMADE’s seasonal event offers brands an optimal opportunity to connect with new customers as well as each other. Join the excitement on the 15th and 16th of December from 11 am to 5 pm.

In anticipation of the event, allow us to introduce you to a few of the compelling makers partnering with SJMADE.

Harumo Sato – Harumo Bakery

Through her illustration studio Harumo Bakery, Harumo Sato serves visitors visually delectable batches of art. Most tend to notice Sato’s joyful use of color first. She explains her choice in palette was influenced by her historian parents. During her childhood, they brought her to visit an ancient Egyptian archaeological site where she learned its grey-ish vases had once been vibrantly painted. Later, she discovered that the intense shades of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan were constantly maintained with new layers of paint every decade or so. This knowledge became a metaphor of life for her: moments are colorful, but memories fade in time.

Sato notes another takeaway from these experiences was that “if you don’t pay attention [to life], the color will fade.” Her wonder at the everyday emanates throughout her work, often through the portrayal of intriguing people, she’s noticed on the streets. Her hope is that others will realize “they are living a pretty good life” and will embrace the tiny blessings. “I think whatever currently I have—health, my body, my family, whatever—it can be gone suddenly,” she says. “So having this stuff is really amazing.” And Sato would know. In 2011, she suffered a sudden and unexplainable paralysis in her dominant right arm. During rehabilitation, drawing became a critical part of therapy. Afterward, Sato decided to pursue art professionally, encouraging others who might be undergoing suffering. “I needed to return this gift to the world because I was saved by art,” she explains.

Beyond illustrations, Sato enjoys painting, printmaking, and creating installation pieces. Recently, she completed her first mural, playfully portraying the fish of Vietnamese cuisine on the side of downtown restaurant Dac Phuc. She credits SJMADE for helping her achieve financial stability as an artist in the Bay Area.

Instagram: harumosato

Written by Johanna Hickle
Photography by Arabela Espinoza

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