The next show will be all paintings. I’m very excited to share the work with you. The show opens 9/10/2015 at Lori Bookstein Fine Arts. The opening reception is from 6pm to 8pm. Everyone is invited!
Press release from Lori Bookstein Fine Art:
Hiroyuki Hamada: Paintings
September 10 – October 17, 2015
Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Hiroyuki Hamada. This is the artist’s third solo-show with the gallery.
Rigorously painted on paper and then mounted on canvas and board, these paintings maintain the same level of craftsmanship that are characteristic of the artist’s sculptural practice. Executed in a fully realized gray-scale (save one painting in which an icy blue predominates) the paintings utilize a similar mixture of acrylic, charcoal, enamel, graphite and oil that the artist uses to polychrome his sculpture.
The artist writes of his work:
It’s been my habit to draw for many years. My sculptures often start from drawings and so do my prints. But it took me twenty years to go back to full-fledged paintings.
The process of making paintings can be faster (than, for example, the building process of a sculpture) more flexible, and it can allow spontaneous happenings and development of visual narratives, which can lead to a glimpse of depth and the richness of who we really are.
But I’m also rediscovering how draining and strenuous the process can be. It is the process of dropping all my daily concerns and opening all my antennas to feel beyond my ordinary spheres and gaze back into myself, all the while putting my faith in the mostly fruitless struggle of digging and building toward the rare confrontation with the moment of a resolution.
It is certainly one of the most meaningful activities for me but it is one of the most challenging acts as well.
May 29th, 2015
Hiroyuki Hamada was born in 1968 in Tokyo, Japan. He moved to the United States at the age of 18. Hamada studied at West Liberty State College, WV before receiving his MFA from the University of Maryland. Hamada has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States including his previous exhibitions, Hiroyuki Hamada and Hiroyuki Hamada: Two Sculptures, at Lori Bookstein Fine Art. He was the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant in 2009 and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1998. Most recently, Hamada’s work was featured in Tristan Manco’s Raw + Material = Art (Thames & Hudson). The artist lives and works in East Hampton, NY.
Hiroyuki Hamada: Paintings will be on view from September 10 – October 17, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 10th from 6-8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact Joseph Bunge at (212) 750-0949 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lori Bookstein Fine Art
138 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Between 18th and 19th Streets
Summer Hours: Monday-Friday, 10:30-6:00
Closed: August 9 – September 9, 2015
Telephone | 212.750.0949
Email | email@example.com
In Painting on
For the past 20 years or so I’ve always kept paints with colors thinking that I might use them one day. That’s what happened last week. I think blue is a sort of unusual color. It can be so vibrant and beautiful. But it’s also very common. It’s the color of the sky. It’s the color of our planet. It’s just there no matter what happens to our personal lives or to the collective life of our species. The association to the depth, the size and the sense of time is sort of scary while it’s also comforting and wonderful.
Untitled Painting 007, 24″ x 18″, acrylic, charcoal, enamel, graphite and oil, 2015
It’s been a few months since I got back working with paintings after exclusively working on sculptures and drawing for 20 years or so.
It’s exciting to see things, which I learned over the years, being released on the surface becoming layers of a narrative, a presence of its own.
Another painting I just finished a few days ago. The paintings are done on black mat boards, which I bought when I was in graduate school over 20 years ago. I bought a big box of them–a lot of 60 x 40 inch sheets–thinking that I was going to paint on them. But it took a while to get started. Although, the sense of time in studio is weird. I don’t know if its short or long. But I know that I couldn’t have painted this 20 years ago. I’ve seen so many things and I’ve changed so much. But I still go to the studio hoping that I see something special and sometimes I do.
Untitled Painting 002, 40″ x 30″, acrylic, charcoal, enamel and oil, 2014
This story really moved me. It happened in the 90s in Japan. The economic bubble of the 80s had burst and the corporate oriented restructuring and austerity measures gave some people a newly found reality of surviving outside of the corporate routines. The underground station of Shinjuku, Tokyo was filled with cardboard houses populated by the homeless people.
It’s a story of young artists who themselves lived on the edge of the corporate cage, relentlessly trying to be true to humanity…
I came across their website recently and the English translation was missing in the descriptions of their art works which are crucial in telling the story of those artists. I offered to translate some of them and here is a first set of images which tells about how they got started.
Photos are by Naoko Sakokawa.
The very first Shinjuku Underground Station West exit Cardboard painting.
Initially, I wasn’t intending on painting those cardboard houses at the underground corridors at all. I was set to street-paint in Shinjuku, guerrilla style. I walked around Shinjuku with paint cans with “TAKEWO”. But the seemingly open, unrestricted big city didn’t have any place for the guerrilla paint job. We looked and looked but it was all systematic. We just walked around aimlessly with disappointment.
We just stood around hopelessly. The city was gigantic and oppressive. As we followed the river of people in despair, we came across the village of cardboard houses at the Shinjuku Underground Station West Exit. We stumbled onto one of them, knocking the cardboard door:
“What do you want?” A large man with a menacing face answered.
“I’m an artist and I would like to paint on your cardboard house,” I answered.
“Like I said, I would like to paint on your cardboard house.”
“OK, go ahead.”
That’s how our cardboard house painting got started. We, “TAKEWO” and I, spent all night painting two of the cardboard houses that night. We kept hearing distant sounds of people screaming and shattering glass, and the underground corridor was filled with the police siren and the ambulance siren every once in a while.
In the summer night, our rebellion was born in the underground of the mega city.
This piece is considered a representative work of ours that survived the forced removal of homeless people by the city of Tokyo on 1/24/1996. It’s THE Shinjuku Underground Station West Exit cardboard house painting.
Yamane mentioned the words “Left Eye of Shinjuku”. The image of those words got the three of us started. It was an all night live painting. The battle of us three. It was so intense that we drew some audience.
Across from the West Exit rotary there is a monument called “An Eye of Shinjuku”. It’s the right eye. And the one we painted is the left one. Makes sense. It’s the pair. The giant eyes had emerged in the Shinjuku underground corridor. The underground became a creature with a soul, baring its teeth against fucking Japan.
Just in case, I must say that the “Left” of “The Left Eye of Shinjuku” has nothing to do with the left wing. So those middle aged dick-wad lefties dragging around the 60s shouldn’t mix this up with that. We are not piece of shit like you all. By the way, it’s odd but when we finished painting this one, we somehow felt that when this painting is gone, that’ll be the time this village will be gone.
The Left Eye of Shinjuku which survived the forced removal had prevailed as a symbol of the underground kingdom.
Then the big fire of February of 1998 came. Soaked in water, the painting was disposed of by the City of Tokyo, and the village has disappeared as well. The Left Eye of Shinjuku really died with the cardboard village.
A piece made with circles.
I wished my work to be weirdly “inevitable” to the time and the space, not to be about my personal ideology, my philosophy or my process.
I drew lots of circles. A circle doesn’t have edges. It’s round, and it looks the same from any angle. And it’s somewhat humorous. I was edgy but I drew lots of circles.
When we become excessive, we lose the essence. I also wanted my expression to include a healthy dose of looseness and a sense of humor. But that was pretty tough. We often ended up painting with a grabbing-someone-by-the-neck sort of an attitude.
Myself screaming savagely with a knife in my hand, myself being inclusive with a sense of humor, many thoughts went through my mind.
But I felt that the experience which transformed me positively the most is when I touched the warmth of humanity.
This might be a picture when the cardboard village was being removed.
Far into the picture there is the word “sin” (罪) and to the left, there is the word “no”(無), the piece reads “innocent”(無罪). It was a piece done as a reaction to the not guilty verdict of 1/24/1996 to an activist for protesting against the removal of the cardboard village. Later the verdict was reversed. The activist became the sinner and the city committed a sin of eradicating the cardboard village. A sin is manufactured according to the convenience of the society. The society is made up with individuals. While we fight among each other, we are harming the planet. It might be correct that we are all born sinners.