Posts tagged with ‘Hiroyuki Hamada’

  • B18-05

    In News, Print on

    A new print

     

     

    B18-05 6 950

  • Pechakucha Night Hamptons Video

    In News on

    Here is a clip of a short talk I did about making sculpture last year.

    Thank you Andrea Grover and Parrish Art Museum for putting it together.

     

     

    Transcript:

    Thank you for inviting me today. I would like to talk about making sculptures. The first step is to come up with the basic idea for it. This is a tricky process because I am interested in an experience without words, stories or symbols. What I am interested in is to make you feel like you belong to the vast universe that is within the tiny cells we are made of reaching out to the edge of the space out there. It can be a scary feeling. You are all alone just floating in the unknown vastness. You might be stuck with something you don’t understand. Or you might feel like you are nothing. You might be lonely and afraid. But I believe good art can let you feel the vastness and the mystery without the fear. It welcomes you with open arms. And remind you that you belong to that reality. It can be a moment when you look at a painting you love. Or it can last for a whole song when you listen to a great song. Or it can last for a whole chapter of a book. What it does is that it can become a bridge between that part of you and you buried in our everyday life. It gives us the courage to go on and it gives us the courage to embrace the unknown with curiosity and excitement.

    Making process is a weird thing. You open yourself in certain ways at the same time you let go of other things. It’s not like solving a math problem where you add a fixed number to a fixed number for instance. Most of the time you can’t even see all the numbers you are adding. And the missing numbers can only be seen with your heart and soul. For an average man in mid 40s, jaded, cynical and disillusioned, it is not easy. As soon as I think I caught something, it’s gone. It’s like building something with my eyes closed. The things I can count on the most in this complicated process are persistence and time. Good work requires breaking rules that I have cultivated over the years. It requires additional trials and errors that allow me to see the new possibilities. I have to be patient in sticking to the goal.

    The process is very slow and it’s done with my tiny brain with yet smaller art window looking out where the work sits. I go around the work so many times trying to look through the window mostly failing to see what’s out there. But eventually I succeed in mapping the area. I slowly build the work. I try to feel my way through every inch of the surface. In fact, it’s much less than an inch. Sometimes a tiny dot might make a big difference, like a tiny sparkle in somebody’s eye that can make him come alive. But it gets complicated when the work doesn’t even have an eye or a face. It’s a very time consuming process. But when the work is done. It’s very obvious. I am at a special place only with my work and myself. Nothing else matters and I am completely at peace, or completely excited.

    So how do I go about it? My approach is to start from drawings. That’s my map to guide me to where I will be struggling. The lines, subtle shades of tones, shapes, these things can imply the vast process that I will be going through. I keep my sketchbook with me all the time. I try to brain storm on papers and come up with recurring shapes that literally ask me to work on as it starts to appear as a three dimensional piece in my imagination. Or sometime it just pops right on the page and I’m certain that I have to work on it.

    I started out as a painter so building structures can be rather crude with lots of trials and errors. I mostly use materials you can find at a hardware store: Wood, insulation foam, burlap, plaster, roofing tar, spray paint, and so on. And using newer, more exotic materials has been an interesting challenge today.

    The surface treatment brings up the characters of the piece, It defines the shape, it gives a static object movements, rhythm, surprises, and visual narratives. Or it can even tell you an imaginary history of a catastrophic event, reconciliation, or just endless calmness and richness of unbroken cycle of nature. I have fun going along with the flow. I take chances. I try to see things I didn’t see before. The result, when it works, always surprises me with a fresh presence of its own.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Solo Show in NYC 2013

    In News on

    It’s been 4 years since I showed a set of new works.  Finally I will have a solo show with new works this fall.  The show opens on 10/10/13 at Lori Bookstein Fine Art in NYC.  So far I’m planing to have 3 to 5 large pieces and probably around 4 midsize to smaller ones.  And possibly some small drawings as well…

    Pieces are still in progress… I still can’t see how the pieces fit in the space yet… But here is a floor plan of the space.

  • the lab magazine Interview

    In News on

    Here is a link to an interview with the lab magazine.  It went really well.  Please check it out!

    http://thelabmagazine.com/2013/05/09/hiroyuki-hamada/

  • Pechakucha Talk at Parrish

    In News on

    Following is a text from an event Pechakucha Night Hamptons Vol. 1 at Parrish Art Museum on Thursday, September 20, 2012.

    Thank you for inviting me today. I would like to talk about making sculptures. The first step is to come up with the basic idea for it. This is a tricky process because I am interested in an experience without words, stories or symbols. What I am interested in is to make you feel like you belong to the vast universe that is within the tiny cells we are made of reaching out to the edge of the space out there. It can be a scary feeling. You are all alone just floating in the unknown vastness. You might be stuck with something you don’t understand. Or you might feel like you are nothing. You might be lonely and afraid. But I believe good art can let you feel the vastness and the mystery without the fear. It welcomes you with open arms. And remind you that you belong to that reality. It can be a moment when you look at a painting you love. Or it can last for a whole song when you listen to a great song. Or it can last for a whole chapter of a book. What it does is that it can become a bridge between that part of you and you buried in our everyday life. It gives us the courage to go on and it gives us the courage to embrace the unknown with curiosity and excitement.

    Making process is a weird thing. You open yourself in certain ways at the same time you let go of other things. It’s not like solving a math problem where you add a fixed number to a fixed number for instance. Most of the time you can’t even see all the numbers you are adding. And the missing numbers can only be seen with your heart and soul. For an average man in mid 40s, jaded, cynical and disillusioned, it is not easy. As soon as I think I caught something, it’s gone. It’s like building something with my eyes closed. The things I can count on the most in this complicated process are persistence and time. Good work requires breaking rules that I have cultivated over the years. It requires additional trials and errors that allow me to see the new possibilities. I have to be patient in sticking to the goal.

    The process is very slow and it’s done with my tiny brain with yet smaller art window looking out where the work sits. I go around the work so many times trying to look through the window mostly failing to see what’s out there. But eventually I succeed in mapping the area. I slowly build the work. I try to feel my way through every inch of the surface. In fact, it’s much less than an inch. Sometimes a tiny dot might make a big difference, like a tiny sparkle in somebody’s eye that can make him come alive. But it gets complicated when the work doesn’t even have an eye or a face. It’s a very time consuming process. But when the work is done. It’s very obvious. I am at a special place only with my work and myself. Nothing else matters and I am completely at peace, or completely excited.

    So how do I go about it? My approach is to start from drawings. That’s my map to guide me to where I will be struggling. The lines, subtle shades of tones, shapes, these things can imply the vast process that I will be going through. I keep my sketchbook with me all the time. I try to brain storm on papers and come up with recurring shapes that literally ask me to work on as it starts to appear as a three dimensional piece in my imagination. Or sometime it just pops right on the page and I’m certain that I have to work on it.

    I started out as a painter so building structures can be rather crude with lots of trials and errors. I mostly use materials you can find at a hardware store: Wood, insulation foam, burlap, plaster, roofing tar, spray paint, and so on. And using newer, more exotic materials has been an interesting challenge today.

    The surface treatment brings up the characters of the piece, It defines the shape, it gives a static object movements, rhythm, surprises, and visual narratives. Or it can even tell you an imaginary history of a catastrophic event, reconciliation, or just endless calmness and richness of unbroken cycle of nature. I have fun going along with the flow. I take chances. I try to see things I didn’t see before. The result, when it works, always surprises me with a fresh presence of its own.

     

    Following images were shown during the talk–20 images, each shown for 20 seconds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pechakucha Night Hamptons Vol. 1 Thursday, September 20, 2012 – 6:00pm to 9:00pm

     

     

  • January Biannual 03 Interview

    In News on

     

    Last year I was interviewed by January Biannual:  A beautiful crowd-funded publication with no advertisements.  I enjoyed answering the questions very much.

    Here is how they describe themselves:

    “JANUARYbiannual is a publication with small dreams.  We are inspired to touch just a few, but in a way that is lasting and profound.

    JANUARYbiannual is fascinated by substance, by depth, by fortitude, and by integrity.

    It is our humble ambition to slow things down, for just a little while”.

    I think that’s wonderful.  Please check out the publication.

    Here is a link to the interview (a pdf file)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • #73 Getting Finishing Touch

    In News on

     

     

  • Raw + Material = Art

    In News on

    Tristan Manco is known for his books on street art. Raw + Material = Art is his first attempt at surveying contemporary fine art. In his own words, “The idea behind the book is to focus on the natural and found materials and low cost, low-tech methods that artists are being drawn to today. Our aim will be to generally inspire and explore the synergy between the artist’s work and their materials.” He certainly succeeds in presenting his theme in the context of contemporary art and the book does even more.

     

    When I learned who would be in the book, I immediately felt that another aspect of this book is the  introduction of artists emerging on the internet. For the past decade or so the internet has quietly moved into the traditional contemporary art scene with somewhat varied angles on both artists’ geographical origins and their approaches. Numerous image based sites have been inspiring countless personal sites. We’ve been exposed to many artists not necessarily affiliated with established galleries, museums, and other major art institutions. For the first time in the history of contemporary art, visual art is experiencing the true possibility of democratic participation. It is no longer a necessity to live close to a large city with major galleries and museums to explore some segment of visual art. The authoritative voices of art critics, major art collectors, and major art institutions often do not reach the common ground offered by the internet.

     

    The new venue is not without its problems. The accuracy of representation through our computer screens will be an issue for some artists. Some art just does not present well that way. The same has been true in music. The proliferation of inexpensive personal devices and compressed music files has been a blessing for some music but not for the others, which I believe has been adding to the sad decline of classical music (Ironically, if you look at the high end audio world, this is the best time to enjoy classical music). Secondly, the emphasis on cheap materials and inexpensive ways of making might not be a coincidence since many of the artists are not supported by the art-as-investment-network of collectors, galleries, auction houses, museums and so on. The generous exposure some artists might enjoy online does not guarantee any form of financial reward. As the world faces the limitations of capitalistic pursuit, the art world and the artists keep searching for practical ways to make their contributions.

     

    In any case, Tristan has nonetheless done a great job of putting together this wonderful book featuring 38 notable artists today in large format, 256 glossy color pages.  It’s a celebration of the new era with the new artists.  Anybody who enjoys looking around online for fascinating new art will find at least some artists to look at.  I hope you enjoy the book.

     

    Here are some snap shots of the pages, although they hardly do justice to the beautiful book itself…

     


    Michael Johansson:  michaeljohansson.com


    Gabriel Dawe:  gabrieldawe.com


    Hiroyuki Hamada:  hiroyukihamada.com


    Aj Fosik:  ajfosik.com


    Klaus Dauven:  klaus-dauven.de


    Elfo:  elfostreetart.blogspot.com


    Ron van der Ende:  ronvanderend.nl


    Rosemarie Fiore:  rosemariefiore.com


    Henrique Oliveira:  henriqueoliveira.com


    Erik Otto:  erikotto.com


    Mia Pearlman:  miapearlman.com


    Peter Callesen:  petercallesen.com


    Luis Valdes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lpower/


    Felipe Barbosa:  felipebarbosa.com

    Many more artists are included in the book.  All of them are worth looking at.  Here is a list of their websites.

    Felipe Barbosa:  felipebarbosa.com
    Andres Basurto: Atenaestudio.com
    Zadok Ben-David:  zadokbendavid.com
    Robert Bradford:  robertbradford.co.uk
    Peter Callesen:  petercallesen.com
    Monica Canilao:  monicacanilao.com
    Klaus Dauven:  klaus-dauven.de
    Gabriel Dawe:  gabrieldawe.com
    Baptiste Debombourg:  baptistedebombourg.com
    Brian Dettmer:  briandettmer.com
    Elfo:  elfostreetart.blogspot.com
    Ron van der Ende:  ronvanderend.nl
    Aj Fosik:  ajfosik.com
    Rosemarie Fiore:  rosemariefiore.com
    Faile:  faile.net
    Fumakaka:  fumakaka.com
    Sayaka Kajita Ganz:  sayakaganz.com
    Jose Enrique Porras Gomez:  olaganandoespacio.wordpress.com
    Hiroyuki Hamada:  hiroyukihamada.com
    Haroshi:  haroshi.com
    Valerie Hegarty:  valeriehegarty.com
    Luiz Hermano:  Luizhermano.com
    Florentijn Hofman:  florentijnhofman.nl
    Michael Johansson:  michaeljohansson.com
    Anouk Kruithof:  anoukkruithof.nl
    Jae-Hyo Lee:  leeart.name
    Luzinterruptus:  luzinterruptus.com
    Maria Nepomuceno:  victoria-miro.com
    Henrique Oliveira:  henriqueoliveira.com
    Erik Otto:  erikotto.com
    Mia Pearlman:  miapearlman.com
    Lionel Sabatte:  lionelsabatte.com
    Chris Silva:  chrissilva.com
    Lucas Simoes:  lucassimoes.com.br
    Yuken Teruya:  yukenteruyastudio.com
    Luis Valdes:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lpower/
    Felipe Yung:  flipink.blogspot.com
    Carlos Zuniga:  carloszuniga.org

    Raw + Material = Art is published by Thames & Hudson Ltd (UK) in April 2012

     

     

  • “of WHITE” at Nuartlink

    In News on



    #56, 2005-10, 41 1/2 x 41 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, enamel, oil, plaster, tar and wax

     

    Venturing into the abstract while suggesting simplicity and 

    light, White can create a special harmony and resonance. 

     

    ~ opening reception February 16th, 2012, 6 to 8 pm

     

    Nuartlink is pleased to present “of White”, a group exhibition of works by artists

    pushing the boundaries of their media using the limitless color white.

    As contrasting as their approaches are, these artists share the same dialogue. They

    skillfully manipulate their materials to reflect ideas and emotions, encouraging our

    minds to seek a deeper vision of their work.

    Bringing together a diverse range of media, “of white” engages the viewer’s

    intellectual curiosity in exploring the unique visual possibilities “of White”.

    203.858.2067
    info@nuartlink.com
    vida@nuartlink.com
    nicholas@nuartlink.com

    19-b Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880
    (Parker Harding Plaza – Entrance next to Starbucks on the river)
    Tuesday- Sunday 11-6 p.m. and by appointment

     

     

     

  • Liganova interview

    In News on

    Last year I was interviewed by a German company Liganova which is starting an art collection.  They have published a couple of publications based on the interview:  One for their newsletter and one for their newly launched Ligastudios.

    Here is the original interview unedited with extra pictures.

     


    Photo by Richard Foulser

     

    How and when did you enter the art world?

    – tell us about your life in Japan

     

    I always liked making things when I was a kid. But I didn’t grow up in a family where that sort of stuff can be your job. My dad worked in Tokyo and commuted from our suberban house 1 1/2 hours away. I grew up to be a typical teenager: angry, feeling alienated for mostly immature reasons. Then my family had to move to the US for my dad’s job (I was 18 then). I got to be a minority in the US (we moved to a little town Wheeling, West Virginia) and I had to struggle to communicate . It was traumatic but also pretty funny if I look back now… I think every teenager should go though that. I think that set me up for pursuing art. I learned some English and I decided to go to a local community college where I met a teacher who showed me what you can do with art. He showed me that putting together lines, colors and etc. on a piece of paper can be like making music or writing stories. I was very naive, ha ha. And he was very good. I was good with my hands but I never knew how to put things together to make it really speak; I never knew that you could put words in between the lines and make it all deep and profound visually, you know? And I totally got hooked. After that I was basically stuck in studio drawing, painting and etc…

     

    Why New York? What did you think New York would give you that Japan didn’t at that time?

     

    I moved around quite a bit before I came to the NY area. In the US, there is this great thing called “artist residency”. You tell them that you are an artist and if they like what you do, they’d let you stay and give you a studio. Some places even pay you to be there. I even met my wife at one of those places. So, after I got my MFA, I was basically half homeless moving around those places. Can’t imagine how I did it now but I didn’t really care much except for what was going on in my studio (my wife would tell you that I still don’t ha ha). And after a while, I wanted to really show my work. And naturally NYC was the place to go. Back then (It was around 1997 or so) and probably now too, the numbers of venues you can show and artists population in NYC area were just staggering compared to other places. If you go to one of those residencies, you’d be amazed to see how many of the artists you meet would be from NYC. But today I wouldn’t care too much about where I work. The work comes first definitely.

     

    How did the NY art scene meet a young Hiroyuki?

    – were you already having pieces as you came to NYC (you were 18, right?)

     

    Coming to NYC, well, actually it wasn’t NYC. After a couple of weeks looking for a cheap place which doesn’t exist in NYC, I settled with a good sized space across the river in NJ. It was one of the sweat shop buildings in a big Cuban community. So it wasn’t really NJ either; it was Cuba. It can be seedy but it was mostly mellow and warm. I heard more Spanish than English. I remember the first taste of chicaron (what a concept, deep frying a chunky pork belly) and good cuban coffee. Have you had Cuban sandwich? The crispy bread outside and exquisite mixture of melting cheese, rich fat pork and the great accent with the pickles? Anyway, as soon as I got there I sent out slides with nice cover letters to galleries that I found to be good. I think I sent a couple of dozen. And they all came right back saying basically get lost, ha ha ha. The only place that was willing to show my work then was OK Harris Works of Art. I heard Ivan Karp would look at your work. So I went. I showed him slides and he said he would do a show with the first look. I wasn’t sure what he meant so I tried to show him the painting I brought, too. Then his son, Ethan, said “No, you don’t have to, he’s giving you a show . That’s good. He doesn’t even have to see it.” I still remember that well. They did my first solo show in NYC.

     


    One of the older pieces (#7, 1996, 16 x 16 x 4.75 inches, burlap, enamel, plaster, tar, wax and wood)

     

    Do you have a favourite show-space in NYC where you often go?

     

    Well, I’d love to say this museum or that gallery but every time I have extra time in the city, I just end up walking around watching people, looking at interesting ads, graffitis or buildings… NYC is just amazing visually in general.

     

    When did you have your first exhibition and knew you are really getting into the spotlight?

     

    Hmm… I don’t think I’ve felt that before… It’s really about myself and the work when it comes to shows. I am an audience too and there is nothing else better than to feel the impact of everything in the show working together to move you, and to see it happening as you place the work and do the lighting. I totally feel the spot light then, but it’s on the work, not on me.

     

    Have you ever played with the idea of opening your very own gallery? How do you choose where to show your work?

     

    I guess these questions are sort of like the front and the back of a same coin… I would want to open a place where I would want to show myself too but then I’d realize how tough it is to do it well. You have to have a space that maximizes the experience. You would want to treat the artists well and be capable in doing the right things. And what do you do with the expense that can be enormous? It’s easy to see that finding good places to show can be hard… So when I try to think about where to show I really can’t plan and wish for exactly what I want. It’s more like depending on my gut feeling and going with the venues that make me feel like I’m doing good to people who like the work. That often works for me. And I also don’t underestimate the people who try hard to make the show great. There often are happy surprises.


    An exhibition shot at Roger Williams University Gallery

     

    What does your art reflect the most? (you, your vision of the world, the world itself)

     

    I think everything counts really. But one thing that’s really sure is that I get motivated to go to the studio by what’s happening in my studio, and working there gives me more ideas and directions. So it’s like exploring what’s possible visually with what I do in my studio. As I learn, I get these layers of ways to deal with visual narratives and new vocabularies also develop, and as I keep going, I come out with more ways to see things differently.

     

    From what I know, you have started with drawing – how and why did you do this shift to sculpture?

     

    I think I wanted the experience to be more articulate and immediate. I do still like the suggestive, gestural quality of drawings I used to do but it’s also so gratifying, so mysterious and so strong to grasp those qualities as much as I can and tell it in 3D with every detail. How it actually happened was that, first, I picked up on the object like quality of drawings. It’s like seeing them as they are with their distinct presence with every imperfection as theirs, instead of seeing them as a picture of something that is supposed to be dipicted. I think a big part of modern/contemporary art has to do with this realization and appreciation of taking visual experiences as they are. In a way it’s sort of primitive compared to, say, like music. That led to paintings with textures and irregular edges. Then, they started to grow off the wall. At some point they were more like sculptures.

     


    Photo by Evan Harris

     

    Do you listen to music when you are working or perfer it to be in quiet?

     

    Sometimes I do. I think the music can shift my mood to get things going. Or the rhythm can be nice to keep the physical work going. But there are moments I have to keep it totally quiet. My guess is that certain processes need certain brian activity and sometimes music interferes with that… But I do love music.

     

    If you happen to put on tracks while you are working, which artists, bands, etc. do you listen to?

     

    Oh, that could be anything really. Lately, I’ve been really liking this band from the 70s called Popol Vuh. It sounds sort of familiar but it also sounds totally out of this world. The mellow speed and the atmosphere seem to work for the pieces I’m working on. I grew up listening to lots of aggressive band music and I still have a soft spot for it. For example, someone posted at Facebook the other day this band called Up Front, and I’ve been enjoying listening: it sounds sort of like Minorthreat, a lot of energy and there is a pleasant innocence about it. I’ve been listening to lots of classical music for the past years also. The level of development in non-descriptive expression in the field is just amazing. It’s such an inspiration and encouragement for working in the visual field. Ah, I can just keep going about music…

     

    I am so sorry, I know artists hate this question, but I simply HAVE TO ask this:

    where do you take your inspiration from – nature, art, architecture?

     

    I think anything can be inspiration if you are talking about how I get motivated to work: Anything that got put together well to have a cohesive whole that functions more than its parts. Like, you wake up and go outside and suddenly feel like the way the sun hits your face just explains everything about why you still want to be alive. You feel so fulfilled and happy. It’s just the same old sun and same old self in the morning but somehow the combination means something to you… And that can be a good inspiration. But like I said, it’s mostly the developments in my studio that inspire me to go further.

     

    Do you take decisions on the materials you will work with before you start with a piece or doese the piece itself tell you what materials to use?

     

    My work grew out of paintings so the idea of materials dictating the pieces is sort of new. I always thought it’s natural to paint every bit of surface to make sure it goes with the form. So far I’ve been mostly using plaster shells on foam/wood structures to paint on for all practical reasons (cost, ease of use and so on…). For a long time, I didn’t understand sculptors talking about materials with almost religious intensity. I mean, why would you expect a surface which is hardly uniform or predictable to do what it is supposed to do? Now I understand the seductiveness of the materials and the convenience and the thrill of counting on happy surprises and so on but I still like the flexibility and the super real presence which a meticulous paint job can present. So if you see different materials in my work, they are most likely painted or stained that way.

     


    A stained plaster piece looking unlike plaster.  #68, 2007-09, 41 x 23 x 20 1/2 inches, enamel, oil, plster, tar and wax

     

    Do you as an artist have a favourite artist?

    please give some examples of artists you like from different epoches, different styles, etc.

     

    Hmm… That’s tough… I’ve got my own interest in process and direction and I look at my work with that all the time so my capability of appreciation is somewhat skewed I’m afraid. Also, when I started out, I meticulously tried to avoid doing what other people were doing. I was sort of afraid of getting influences I guess. Also, I have a rather more standoffish relationship with visual art than, say, with music. I would be often totally taken by music, almost getting drowned with the pleasure. But when I look at visual stuffs, I’m often more objective in general. More interested in seeing alternate ways and investigating than consuming it for pleasure perhaps… I think it’s only in the past a few years that I’m becoming more open to seeing and enjoying as I feel more grip on my own work. But I’ve always enjoyed Martin Puryear’s work. I like the forms he works with. The way the work relates to you in the space is also nice: And the subtle playfulness he puts. I also like Anish Kapoor’s work. I saw his Bean piece in Chicago a few years ago, and it was so encouraging and happy to see people totally being fascinated with it. I mean, I saw people literally dancing around it and having fun being with it. And I also enjoy lots of figurative works. That’s what I started out with myself (I used to love doing figure drawing). I think Basquiat is just a marvelous painter. The sense of color, the way he composes in such striking ways, the confidence in lines with such fragile subtlety and doing all that with such spontanaity is just amazing. I see many others that I enjoy online, people like Kris Kuksi, Ron van der Ende, Eddie Martinez, Christina Bothwell, Blu, Jen Stark, Karim Hamid, just off my head randomly…, and many more I guess… I just had fun seeing the Nick Cave show in NYC. When I was in school, I looked at artists like Jesper Johns, Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, Eva Hesse, Tapies, Louis Bourgeois, and so on. But they all came in through other students’ works that sort of emulated them. It’s interesting to learn that way. You see what the essential qualities are for the students and you experience the first hand account of dealing with the materials…

     

    You don’t give titels to your work – why?

     

    I’m really interested in what I get by combining visible things, and I don’t want to make it about stories, references, symbols and such, at least not on the conscious level. I mean, I want the visual language to hit your guts hard, not the theories, anecdotes, or background stories sort of making you feel something in wishy washy ways. And also I don’t want to limit the work inside of my narrow cultural and social constraints. So I figured the easiest thing I can do to put the focus on the substance is not to work with those things. If they creep in, I just try to stay away from them. It’s very inefficient but it’s very effective when it works. I think I can get to the bottom of what we are that way. So not giving them descriptive names is a way to make sure that it doesn’t imply things aside from what the forms are doing. But it’s probably something to do with my laziness too. I know that you could come up with titles that can enhance what I’m trying to do… So oh well…

     


    #59 (detail), 2005-08, 20 diameter x 36 inches, enamel, oil, plaster, tar and wax


    #59, 2005-08, 20 diameter x 36 inches, enamel, oil, plaster, tar and wax

     

    Where do you take your friends to when they are coming to visit you in New York?

     

    I don’t know… I’ll ask my Facebook friends, ha ha ha. I don’t get to eat nice exotic stuffs out in Eastern Long Island where I live, so I might try to convince them to go for nice Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Indian or Chinese… If you are talking about food that is. I used to like walking around in Chinatown looking at fish, veggies thinking about cooking. Nice sushi would be good too. If there are good shows, gallery hopping in Chelsea is also nice. But like I said, what I like to do there is just taking a walk looking at things, people, buildings and etc. I always see interesting things in NYC…

     

    How do you relax? What do you do in your free time?

     

    I go to my studio ha ha ha. I can always work on something… I have an electric guitar set up and I have fun with that sometimes. It’s a nice thing to bounce on when I feel like I am stuck with my work. Or when I just have the urge. I think I have some sort of addiction to loud, distorted guitar sound… I also keep sketch books everywhere and I like to draw shapes and things when I have time. Also, my wife and I watch TV shows sometimes. We’ve been enjoying “Breaking Bad” lately. What a fabulous show.

     

    What do you get to read MAGAZINES or BOOKS more often? Which are your favourite magazines?

     

    I haven’t read any magazines for a long while… At least not the actual paper versions. I really depend on internet for news and articles now. I used to read lots of books too and I aways had a big pile next to my bed, but not much reading lately. It’s just that the time is limited since we got two small kids. But I’ve read a couple of Malcom Gladwell’s books recently and I really liked them.

     

    Which 2-3 names in the fashion industry from former era do you see as iconic?

     

    Hmm…you got me. What can I say. I’m the kind of guy who shows up at my own opening in a Dickies jump suit making my wife’s eyes roll with dismay…

     


    Photo by Evan Harris

     

    Who are the most influential names in art today?

     

    Not the individuals, but I think TV shows and movies totally rule on that. And in terms of the impact and the quality too perhaps. I don’t get to watch many but some shows I’ve watched are just amazing: Like Breaking Bad, Wire, Sopranos, or some episodes from Battlestar Galactica, for examples. You get great writing, camera work, acting, set design, music, sound effects, visual effects and on and on. I just think the total experience from them is the culmination of art history on the planet. Have you watched District 9? Just amazing.

     

    Which of them has left an imprint on your style (if at all)?

     

    Well, things get in me and I must express something in my work, but like I said, I don’t make my work about anything specific so that’s something I can’t really answer…

     

    What are you working on right now?

     

    Right now I have 4 pieces in progress. They seem to be freer into space and they speak a bit more as shapes. I’ll see how the surface gets treated. I started out as a painter so working with the surface is a very special and fun process for me. I’ve been also trying a few resin materials instead of plaster since the pieces are a bit bigger and more complex.


    Snap shot of the studio 1/21/12 (iphone photo with Autostitch)