Yuda and Yoki established The Volcano Store in Taipei. Both graduating with a degree in graphic design; they now focus on zine publishing and making pottery art. Their works are simple and cute, with humorous silliness which sometimes they mix with some delightful shyness.
The Volcano Store
We asked The Volcano Store a few questions...
Why are you called Volcano store?
We named ourselves Volcano simply because one day we were passing a grocery store we were attracted by a poster that is full of energy on the wall. The poster pictured a section of a real volcanic eruption.
How long have the two of you been working and collaborating together? And how did you decide to combine both of your art practises together?
We met at university, we were in different school years but discovered we were quite similar in terms of concept ideas and aesthetics. Our brand has been established online for seven years now.
What are the pros and cons of working together under the same brand name?
Operating a brand requires you to deal with a lot of things, it is not simply about creating, but there are also a lot of chores to be done, from sorting marketing, to taking product images, organising sales, etc. We both feel happy to have a partner to discuss ideas and to share the responsibilities together. We know many artists struggle with the business aspects that are needed to go hand in hand with creating work, it can make you feel very weak to the point some give up, so it works very well for us working by each other’s side. Of course there is the disadvantage that by having two people running the brand we must discuss every detail with each other, we have to ensure we reach an agreement before we implement anything. We supervise each other to get one thing done, it is an intense relationship that can sometimes produce friction.
What inspires both of you? Has this changed over time?
We like things we can understand. We find inspiration when we produce work that we like. For example, we like dinosaurs and think it’ll be hilarious if they’re doing something combined with sex, so we drew the zine Dinosaur ABC. To balance the artistic and practical life, sometimes we create work we don’t like so much to help us have a stable income. But we keep reminding ourselves not to lose enjoyment in creating simply for making a living.
Your work is very erotic and sex positive. Why are genitals and sexual pleasure so important to you?
Sexual organs often appear in our creations. We feel that in Taiwan it is rare to have an open discussion about penis’ and vulvas. Human genitals are very concealed, but they are as real as our eyes, our nose and our mouth. We hope that through our art work, people can become more familiar with them and appreciate the beauty of them more.
What is your experience of being sex-positive artists? Have you ever had to self-censor your work on social media or in other settings?
We feel that sex is good, healthy and natural. We show and sell our art work in a variety of different public spaces such as marketplaces and popular online shopping platforms for more exposure opportunities. Of course, there are many conservative people that think that is not appropriate. However, by showing our work in these public spaces it gives us a better chance to face the mainstream population directly and educate them that this is normal. This is what we hope to achieve.
What is on your mind when you are shaping one of your genital ceramics?
We don’t think about anything, we feel cute, funny, we like it, we hope it doesn’t crack.
If you could really touch a dinosaur, which would you choose?
YOKI: An Amphicoelias. I want to touch it from its head all the way down to its tail, I think this will take quite a while!
YuDa: The head of the Parasaurolophus to feel the vibrations of its RAAWWR.