Here are a couple of pieces in progress. I haven’t really made any piece that’s meant for outside, although the thought of it has been with me for awhile. I like the idea of outdoor elements being part of the dynamics. I like the idea of putting the work where it can be seen by people who generally don’t go out to see art. These two pieces will be in an outdoor show which will open this fall.
We just took a family trip to Japan. It was quite overwhelming—catching up with an old friend, spending time with my family, making new friends, visiting breathtakingly beautiful places, enjoying exceptional food culture. Now I’m back home being greeted by new pieces in progress. The fruit trees which I planted last year are growing, showing the unstoppable cycle of life around me.
It’s crazy that all the things we cherish fall into right places more or less when we know that things could go wrong in so many ways. Nothing could be planned to be the way they turn out, but we do find things to be miraculously wonderful sometimes. That’s how I want to work in the studio too.
#74, 24 1/2″ x 24 1/2″ x 57, painted resin, 2011-13
Here is my tenth Piezography print. For those who are not familiar with Piezography, it is a black and white photography printing method. It utilizes color inkjet printers, but the method uses black inks in the color heads, expressing varying degrees of grays instead of grays expressed with black dots. You load a special software to your computer which controls appropriate actions of the heads to produce black and white prints. It sounds complicated, but once your equipment is set up, it continues to work reliably. In fact, to me, one of the best things about it is its solidness in producing consistent results. It allows me to concentrate on the making part instead of getting bogged down with the technical part. A photographer friend of mine, Brian Miller, told me about it years ago, praising its exceptional print quality.
I start from a scanned drawing. Then I work on the image on the screen. After a meticulous and long editing process, back and forth from screen to paper, and vice verse, I arrive at a finished print. So the prints are not reproductions; there are multiples but each of them is an original.
For those interested in the prints, please take a look at the print section of the site. The new one will be added shortly.
B18-01, Piezography on archival cotton paper, variable sizes, 2019-22
I’ve started making a new large sculpture a few months ago. It’s still at a planing stage but I am quite excited about the it. Making #82 taught me a lot in terms of the material and how to express two dimensional drawing as a three dimensional object. Right now, I’m still struggling with a model. Here is a drawing of it.
I made this piece around the year 2000. Things were much simpler for me back then. The only thing that guided me was the momentum of my studio practice–like an explorer, I searched, was mesmerized and was content with newly found visual-scapes. The world–the human world–seemed like an extension of the great oceans and lands with its harmony and order. If I did have to justify my motive, perhaps I felt responsible for the path that saved my life from self-destructive anger and sadness. I didn’t feel the responsibilities arising from being a parent, a grown-up, an artist and a human back then. But the pain of life that squeezed my young self never really went away.
What it is to live? When one decides to be a constructive force for our species, for our fellow creatures and for the environment, what can artists do? When our efforts are harvested to decorate power and authority, and when our efforts are used as currency to protect the hierarchy of money and violence, how do we assert our roles to be human and to show what it is to be human?
Getting back to the piece, shortly after it was made, I gave it to my wife in exchange for her grandmother’s ring, which she loved. In turn, I gave the ring to her as a wedding ring. The piece has been put away for a while, but my wife wanted to see it next to one of my new pieces, so here they are.
#83, 33 x 24 x 3 inches, found object and resin, 2014-18
#30, 18″ diameter x 8″, enamel, plaster, resin, tar and wax, 2000
In From the Studio on
I came across the following clip recently and it made me think of how things go in my studio.
During my studio practice a breakthrough can often occur as a totally unpredictable surprise. It is not intuitive at all. I simulate, I speculate, and I try to imagine with my all being. I try to open my heart as wide as I can to feel all I can feel but the moment refuses to be recognized as my labor of love. It lies one step beyond all my intuitive attempts. It’s only given to me as a fact of life I happen to come across: Being at the right place at the right moment. I stand there helplessly in awe of how the elements reveal their mystery.