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 are three pieces recently added to my site in sculpture section under 1995-2005.
I wonder if I will ever see these pieces in person again. Seeing older pieces can be an odd experience. It’s like meeting an old friend but the friend hasn’t aged at all; I meet the presence just as I remember. It’s as if time and space don’t exist where they live.
I didn’t grow up surrounded by art. I was really into making plastic model kits, drawing comic book characters or just making things in general as a kid. But I didn’t really know visual art as a potent social institution. I had to be exposed to art in front of my eyes. I took an art class when I was attending community college. The teacher showed me his paintings and drawings, demonstrating that marks on paper can do what sounds can do with music. This was eyeopening for me. I was captivated by this phenomenon. So from the very beginning, my interest centered around capturing this mysterious quality that somehow moves me.
So it’s probably not a coincidence that I stuck with simpler forms without recognizable representations. I wanted to capture this mysterious thing, not to represent a concrete idea with symbols or narratives. I wanted to be struck directly with this something. The works I did around that time are heavily guided by this idea.
These two pieces show my typical ways of mark making at the time and later time as well. One is circular forms made by electric drills with spade bits. I like the contrast of precise circles and how they meet with the materials to express the physicality. Second is the use of homemade encaustic paint applied to express textures and tones of the surface. The paint is also used to express structural dynamics with lines, shapes, contrasts and so on.