Japanese American visual artist Drue Kataoka has been selected as the newest icon for Clubhouse, the hot new audio-only social media app.
Known for her Sumi-e art, Kataoka was chosen Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum summit at Davos in 2012 and she is based in Silicon Valley, California.
Her face will appear as the Clubhouse logo, representing the iconic app on 13 million smartphones.
According to the pioneering audio-focused social networking platform, Kataoka is the eighth person ever to have been selected for this role by Clubhouse, and the first visual artist and Asian American woman to be featured.
The Tokyo-born, West Coast-raised artist’s selection also comes at an important time of reckoning in the United States for the treatment of Asian Americans, who have been targets of violence since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kataoka is one of Clubhouse’s earliest members.
“I was lucky to join Clubhouse in the very early days, and almost one year later it is still in an exciting infancy stage. The immediacy and viscerality of the experience is unprecedented — you open the app, and suddenly you are immersed in a room crossing wildly diverse geographies, socio-economic, religious and racial backgrounds,” Kataoka told reporters.
In a Clubhouse “Room,” Kataoka launched a #StopAsianHate campaign and fundraiser that surpassed its initial $10,000 goal within the first hour and has now raised more than $93,000 for the Asian American Federation (AAF).
“Hate towards Asian Americans is skyrocketing. Each morning over coffee, disturbing images flood our phones: an Asian man getting his head stomped on, an Asian man stabbed, an Asian grandma attacked, six Asian women shot down in cold blood. And this problem will get worse especially if we are complacent and not vigilant,” NextShark quoted Kataoka as saying.
Clubhouse is an invitation-only social media app for iOS and Android where users can communicate in voice chat rooms that accommodate groups of up to 5,000 people. The audio-only app hosts live discussions, with opportunities to participate through speaking and listening.
The app was first introduced to iOS by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co. in March 2020 with a beta launch for Android in May 2021.