News

  • New Painting, Untitled Painting 052

    In News on

    A new painting is added to the painting section of the site. Click the image for various views and details.

    Untitled Painting 052, 60 x 40 in, acrylic on wood, 2024

  • Matter on Ground

    In Art, Artist, Culture, Exhibition, new work, News, Sculpture on

    My show Matter on Ground opened at SoFo yesterday, Saturday 9/9/23.  I thank Parrish Art Museum for inviting me for this year’s Road Show, their annual off-site exhibition.  And I also thank SoFo for hosting this show on their ground.  The show is up till October 10, 2023.

    PARRISH ROAD SHOW 2023
    HIROYUKI HAMADA:
    MATTER ON GROUND

    September 9 to October 10, 2023
    OFFSITE EXHIBITION
    South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center
    377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, NY 11932

    For the 2023 Parrish Road Show, Hiroyuki Hamada (Japanese, born 1968) was invited to create a site-specific exhibition at the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center in Bridgehampton, NY. Now in its twelfth year, Parrish Road Show is the Museum’s off-site project designed to encourage engagement and interaction between artists and the communities beyond the Museum’s walls. Each year, selected artists work with the Parrish and partner venues to create new work and to provide unique opportunities for visitors to see and experience art in unexpected places, from public parks and highways to historical sites and community centers.

    ARTIST STATEMENT

    Our presence on the planet is a minuscule phenomenon before countless galaxies and an infinite time span. From such a standpoint, nature is undoubtedly an existential matter to us. We, the artists do operate within the social formation, fully subjected to the imperatives of our time and space, but just as nature often defies human attempts to contain and domesticate, art does reach out beyond the social framework in addressing what it is to be human.

    I think there is a parallel between nature and art if we position both in the framework of our social formation. We might not generally regard nature as having much to do with social imperatives compared with the legal codes, political environment, and prevalent beliefs among us. But if we see our species from a larger perspective of the geological timeframe, for example, nature does guide us in essential ways. And art does have the potential to reflect where we all come from: nature.

    I have worked in my studio for the last three decades or so as an artist. My pursuit in two-dimensional surfaces has turned to three-dimensional ones. The materials have shifted from charcoal and paper, paint and panel, plaster, resin and so on and so forth. I’ve worked with venues of varying sizes and shapes with varying missions in different places. But this is my first attempt in making works intended for an exhibition in an open space with the sky as a ceiling and the ground as a floor. How does the work look under the natural light with the wind, the rain, the smell of soil and plants, the presence of animals, or under the moonlight?

    To me, making a work involves intimate observations and intense dialogues with the elements involved. When matter collides with matter, unexpected things happen, and the dialogue becomes a part of the structure. In the process, I strive to capture the mystery and the essence of the unknown in recognizable and meaningful ways. I attempt to feel what is in front of me as the material for expressing what is not obvious in our daily routines in the social framework.

    Nature operates according to its own rules and the material tendencies and realities of a given environment. It does not follow our beliefs, norms, and values in manifesting what it manifests. In that sense, my practice always has been about finding some sort of connection to the process of nature. This opportunity to work with the open space at SoFo is certainly a relevant one which I approach with seriousness and excitement.

    Parrish Road Show 2023: Matter on Ground is organized by Kaitlin Halloran, Assistant Curator and Publications Coordinator, and Brianna L. Hernández, Assistant Curator, with support from Corinne Erni, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator of Art and Education and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of Jane Wesman and Donald Savelson. Public Funding provided by Suffolk County.Opening reception at SOFO: September 9, 2023 at 3pm

    Guided Outdoor Sculpture Tour at SOFO: September 16, 2023 at 1pm

    Artist Talk at Parrish Art Museum: September 29, 2023 at 6pm

    Closing: October 10, 2023

    Parrish Art Museum site: https://parrishart.org/exhibitions/road-show-2023/

    The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center site: https://sofo.org/calendar/hiroyuki-hamada-─-2023-parrish-art-museum-road-show-artist-at-sofo─-guided-outdoor-sculpture-tour-with-hamada/

  • lucent at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre 2

    In Art, Artist, Culture, Exhibition, News, Painting, Print, Sculpture on

    Here is a second set of photos from lucent, a traveling group show of small works curated by David Quinn.  I know that these images hardly do justice to the raw immediacy emanating from the work.  In fact, as soon as I walked into the venue I realized that the reason why we spend so much effort in putting up a show like this is that experiencing the work in person is the only way to actually feel the direct impact of the pieces.  The show covers over 50 works by 11 artists spanning two floors of the beautiful art venue.

    Participating artists:

    Niamh Clarke

    Hiroyuki Hamada

    Vincent Hawkins

    Tjibbe Hooghiemstra

    Jamie Mills

    Janet Mullarney

    Helen O’Leary

    David Quinn

    Sean Sullivan

    John Van Oers

  • lucent at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre

    In Art, Artist, Culture, Exhibition, News, Painting, Print, Sculpture on

    Here are some images from lucent: a traveling group show of small works curated by David Quinn.  The first show has opened at UillInn: West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen, Ireland. The show focuses on indescribable poetic qualities emanating from each piece.  The works require you to gently approach them as if to approach a delicate small insect or a flower and examine carefully to let the light reveal the rich surfaces and intricacies;  by doing so you enter into special dialogues with the elusive yet undeniably tangible presence of the works.  David has done a great job selecting the artists.  His curatorial decisions are masterful.  This is probably my favorite group show I’ve ever been part of, and it was great to meet some of the participating artists in Ireland. I would like to thank the director of the Arts Centre Ann Davoren for welcoming us with generous support. The natural beauty of Ireland was overwhelming.  It was such a dreamy week being there.

    From West Cork Art Center website:

    lucent
    29 July to 9 September 2023

    lucent is an exhibition of small works curated by artist David Quinn, involving twelve international artists – Charles Brady (Ire), Niamh Clarke (NI), Vincent Hawkins (UK), Hiroyumi Hamada (JN), Tjibbe Hooghiemstra (NL), Jamie Mills (UK), Janet Mullarney (Ire), Helen O’Leary (Ire), David Quinn (Ire), Seamus Quinn (Ire), Sean Sullivan (US) and John Van Oers (BE). The exhibition runs across both galleries at Uillinn from 29 July to 9 September.

    ‘Although I have curated quite a few exhibitions, I am first and foremost an artist and not a curator. This exhibition is a very personal project. The work I have included is by artists whose work and progress I am always keen to see. I think there is a lot of truth in Robert Motherwell’s quote ‘every intelligent painter carries the whole culture of modern painting in his head. It is his real subject, of which everything he paints is both a homage and critique.’ To a greater or lesser extent, the artists in this exhibition have been inspirational to me or sometimes it is just as Emerson said ‘in every work of genius we recognise our own rejected thoughts’.

    One of the common threads through the work of these artists for me is a sensitivity for materials and for the quality of line. Most of the artists here also blur the distinction between painting and sculpture. Their sculptures can be quite painterly and there is a subtle tactile element even to the works on paper. The other thing that interests me is that it is often hard to pin down exactly what the works are about (if that is what one is inclined to do). There is an inherent ambiguity in lots of the work, a vague open-endedness. Also the scale that these artists often work on is intimate and personal. The works are memorable rather than monumental, suggestive rather than didactic, playful rather than strict. Where there is order it is often subverted and generally an air of gentle irreverence. Ultimately though the thing that draws these works together for me is that I find them beautiful.’

    David Quinn, 2022b

    lucent is supported by an Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Touring Award and will tour to Highlanes Gallery Drogheda (February to April) and Wexford Arts Centre (June to August) in 2024.

    Participating artists:

    Niamh Clarke

    Hiroyuki Hamada

    Vincent Hawkins

    Tjibbe Hooghiemstra

    Jamie Mills

    Janet Mullarney

    Helen O’Leary

    David Quinn

    Sean Sullivan

    John Van Oers

     

  • New additions to the site, December 14, 2022

    I asked my wife what I should write to go with this post. She jokingly said that I should write about why I make such weird images. I don’t know the answer to be honest. But I think things are weird. We stay in our routines, we observe rules, ideas, myths and beliefs flooding out of big corporate entities to remain “good citizens” of “democratic countries”. But when we take one step outside and look in, we see people hurting each other for nothing, people following ridiculous rules and people being forced to play clowns in a circus only to keep up with the status quo. People pay prices to stay in these invisible cages. The cages distort the bodies, the faces, the minds and the souls. The rosy promises and slogans are conditional, propping up the hierarchy governed by money and violence. Weird to see things upside down. Weird to see people sleeping on streets when rich people have many houses. Weird to see more money spent on bombs than healthcare, housing, and food for the people. Needless to say these things aren’t just weird, they are brutal and upsetting. So there is that. But when I work, I try to empty my head to feel visual elements for what they are, and let them speak; surely weird things come out, but profoundly fascinating things happen among them too, just as in real life. Perhaps it is a practice to find potentials among elements when they can interact on their own accord. Maybe they are like how life can be. Anyway, I’m posting because I just added 6 recent paintings of mine to my site. They are under Painting. You can see multiple views and details for each piece.

    Studio update:
    I’ve been working on new sculptures. The next set of pieces will be sculptures.

  • New addition to the site, Nov 22, 2022

    In Art, Artist, News, Sculpture on

    6 of my recent sculptures have been added to my site. They are in the Sculpture section under 2020-current. You can see alternate views and details for each piece.

    Despite the grim nature of the ongoing social restructuring for more disparity, more authoritarianism, more commodification, more financializing, and more propagandizing, I must say I was relatively prolific for the past two years. Perhaps I was forced to face my source of creativity and imagination more as the predicaments increased a sense alienation. I was perhaps yearning for a solid ground to stand on; to me, this is often my studio and my work. On the other hand, I have also met new friends as my social network shifted, and I also renewed my appreciation for people who have been helping me all these years. I am looking forward to facing what life brings to me.

  • New Print, B18-01

    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

  • New additions to the site, Nov 3, 2022

    In Art, Artist, News, Sculpture on

    6 pieces have been added to the site in the sculpture section under 1995-2005.

    I moved to eastern Long Island in 1999 to be with my future wife. Those pieces were finished either in 2001 or 2002. Some were brought over not yet finished from a sweatshop building in Union City, NJ, where I lived and worked. I lived in my art studio where a tiny area for my bed was symbolically separated from the studio fumes and dusts with a plastic sheet. I was young and all I thought about was working in my studio.

    Then I loaded my 1995 Toyota T100 pickup with all I had and moved to where I am now.

    I was always in search of a studio space when I arrived in Long Island. I tried working in a small shed at the house where we lived and still live. I purchased a horse trailer with a for sale sign to be converted into a studio. I rented a friend’s basement as a studio. Nothing really worked too well, but the works somehow found their way out. One of the reasons why I worked primarily on wall pieces at the time was the space constraint, although I had my beginning as a painter and I do have affinity toward wall pieces.

  • everything is free now

    I had a great time strolling around Brooklyn with Josh and David from everythingisfreenow.org a few days ago. It’s been awhile since everythingisfreenow.org left social media platforms. But of course that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They’ve quietly placed hundreds of paintings on the streets of Brooklyn so far. If you know where to look, you see that their work has become a part of the cityscape. Their work has turned the public space into a place to appreciate and discuss art and life.

    The language of art manifests as the language of life. No matter how hard the ruling class tries to digitize everything, financialize everything, commodify everything, colonize everything to mold everything into the imperial framework, life finds ways to build its social fabric on its own terms.

    New York has gone through so much: Wave after wave of neoliberal restructuring have been inflicted in the name of fighting crimes, terrorisms, and the virus. The same people who define “crises” have been the ones who benefit from “the solutions”. The social hierarchy is maintained and continues to function as a machine of structural extortion. But life still persists as art on streets, community gardens, cooperative housing projects and etc. Seeing them up close and hearing about them from Josh and David warmed my heart.

    Here are some photos from their website:

  • Gana Art Bogwang Show 2022

    I am not religious at all in a traditional sense. But being in my studio struggling to make work has taught me that there are incomprehensible mechanisms operating beyond our perceptions. The glimpses of the vastness show up as “uncanny coincidences”, “unexplainable perceptions”, “overwhelming emotions of unknown origins” and so on.

    So when I felt an unexplainable familiarity in being in Korea, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and extreme sadness in leaving the country, I was not too puzzled, but still the sensation was new and palpable. All I can say is that things connect in some unknown ways and I humbly feel it as it is.

    This is one of the bigger shows I have had, with 17 art works in a large venue with 2 floors.

    The pieces were selected by Jung Lee the director of Gana Art and his curators. The set certainly has a cohesive theme of some sort, but I couldn’t pin point it initially. The director basically said that he thought about the taste of the Korean audience. The pieces filled up the venue like they were made for it. They certainly made selections which are cogent and very effective as a whole.

    Having been in Korea looking at its art, new and old, working with people there and breathing the air in Seoul, I came to speculate on an intuitive level that the theme has something to do with some sort of faceless force of nature which grips hearts of the people in the region. And grips hearts of people in surrounding regions just as the Japanese centuries ago were so passionately fascinated by their ceramics in a narrowly defined context of “wabi sabi” sensibility. In reality, though, what I am trying to describe exists in more fundamental and ubiquitous ways, which can manifest in countless ways. It’s the resigned harmony with the unknown vastness, which I also feel as a basis of my studio practice. To me, being in studio is to be a listener, a keen observer, a channeler, who reflects dynamics surrounding us as patterns which resonate with us with visceral significance.

    And this somehow relates back to my feeling about being in Seoul—my familiarity and affinity toward it. I am deeply drawn to the land, food and its people without knowing exactly how or why. My attempt in articulating it seems to remain circular as words go around the essence.

    In any case, I thank the wonderful people I met there and I look forward to our future collaborations.

    Here are some images from the show. Some detail images have been added, which were photographed previously in my studio.