Posts tagged with ‘Art’

  • Roger Williams University Show Is UP

    In News on

    Installing a show never gets boring. It’s usually filled with improvisations and surprise gifts of time and space. You go get your rental truck only to find the office is closed and you tell yourself that it wasn’t supposed to snow today… You finally get your truck and find it stuck in snow, making you wonder if it’s even possible to do it today. But things usually fall into the right places just like it did this time. We managed to hang the show with a tight schedule thanks to fine planning by the curator, Jess Frost, and the generous support of Roger Williams University.

    The school sits in the beautiful sea town of Bristol, Rhode Island. The school is named after Roger Williams who led an exciting life as a believer of freedom of religion and separation of church and state in 17th century North America. He was also an expert in native American languages (Thanks to Peter Edlund, a wonderful painter, for pointing me to Roger Williams’ life story).

    We have 7 paintings by Christopher Saunders and 6 sculptures of mine in the show. The show’s looking great and I’m happy and proud to be a part of it.

    WhiteNoise no.6 by Christopher Saunders, 2009, Oil on Linen, 24 x 18 in

    #45 by Hiroyuki Hamada, 2002-05, burlap, enamel, oil, plaster, resin, tar and wax, 20 x 25 x 25 in

    WhiteNoise no.1 by Christopher Saunders, 2008, oil on linen, 24 x 18 in

    #38 by Hiroyuki Hamada, 2000-02, burlap, enamel, oil, plaster and tar, 27 diameter x 13 in

    An Exhibition of Paintings by Christopher Saunders and Sculpture by Hiroyuki Hamada
    Roger Williams University
    School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation
    One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809
    Gallery web site
    Campus map

    Curator Jess Frost
    Art and Estate Archive

    The show will be up through 3/30/11

    You can see a blog post about the show by the university art web site VARTS@RWU here

  • Scope NYC 2011

    In News on

    #68 and #60 will be at Scope NYC with Aureus Contemporary (booth A61) from March 2 to March 6, 2011.
    March 2 will be press/VIP viewing (3pm to 9pm) and the general admission hours will be noon to 8pm on March 3 to
    March 5, noon to 7pm on March 6.  The venue is located at 320 West (West Side Highway) across from
    Pier 40.

  • A Show at Roger Williams University

    In News on

    This is a two person show featuring Christopher Saunders and myself.  It opens on 2/23/11 and up till 3/30/11.  It’s organized by my dear friend Jess Frost from ART & ESTATE ARCHIVE, NY.  I am excited that the show should cast some interesting perspectives on both Chris’ and my works.  Jess will be speaking about the show on 3/23/11 at the university.

  • NYC Show is open

    In News on

    The NY show opened last Thursday!  Thank you for the wonderful opening!

    Please note that the closing date has been changed from 1/15/11 to 1/8/11. I am sorry if this causes any issues with your gallery visit.

    However, the gallery is planing to hold a closing reception on the 6th of January.  The details will be posted as it gets closer.
    We hope it’ll be a fun gathering for the new year.

  • Coleman Burke Gallery New York

    In News on

    I’m happy that the next show will be in my favorite city:  New York City!

    #63 (detail)

    It will be at:

    Coleman Burke Gallery New York

    636 West 28th Street, Ground Floor

    between 11th & 12th Avenues

    New York, New York 10001


    December 2, 2010- January 15, 2011

    Opening: Thursday, December 2, 6 – 8 PM

    Here is more about the show.  It’s been 4 years since the last show in NYC. I’m excited to be back and the gallery space is splendid! I will keep you updated!
  • cutlog Paris 2010

    In News on


    #56 and #68 will be at cutlog, a contemporary art fair in Paris (Oct. 20-24) with Aureus Contemporary.
    The people at Aureus are all very excited, and I am of course very excited and happy to have my work
    introduced to people in Paris!

    #56, 2005-10, 41 1/2 x 40 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches

    #56, 2005-10, 41 1/2 x 40 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches

    #68, 2007-09, 41 x 23 x 20 1/2 inches

    #68, 2007-09, 41 x 23 x 20 1/2 inches

  • The Last Weekend For The Art Sites Show

    In News on

    It’s  been a great few weeks having a show at Art Sites.  The show turned out to be super
    featuring the latest works as well as the oldest ones.  Last week, we have also added nine
    of my oldest drawings predating the plaster sculptures.  You can see them in the office area.

    And, we have one more weekend to go!  The show will be closing on Sunday the 10th.  Here
    are a few images from the show.  More photos with large view options will be added to the
    main part of the site in a few weeks.


    #60, 2006-08, 38 x 30 x 16 inches


    #39, 43 x 27 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, 1997- 02


    #69, 51 x 22 x 19 inches, 2008-10

    Left:  #56 with Glynis and Hideaki!  Right:  #52

    #56, 40 3/4 x 41 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, 2005-10 and #52, 25 diameter x 19 inches, 2002-08


    #63, 45 x 40 x 24 inches, 2006-10

    Here is how to get to Art Sites:  Direction to Art Sites

    Art Sites
    651 W. Main St.
    Riverhead, NY 11901
    hours: th-sun 12-5
    Please call for additional hours
  • #69 Images Added

    In News on

    Images of a new piece #69 has been added to the main part of the site.  The bottom icon
    “#69” at the main page will get you to the #69 page with the various views, the large views
    and the additional information.  Here are some of the images:

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69, 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

    #69 (detail), 2008-10, 51 x 22 x 19 inches

  • Making of #63

    In News on

    Making process is never straight forward.  Any way that works is the right way
    for me. With #63, it wasn’t an exception. I’ve gone through lots of trials and
    errors and finding and getting lost.  And it lasted about 4 years.

    The first step is usually getting the core idea of the piece.  It’s an impression of
    the work, or a glimpse of what it can be; it’s the backbone of the piece I can hang
    onto during the making process.  It might be a quick find with a strong conviction,
    or I might get it through numerous sessions of brain storming in my sketchbook.
    Either way, it usually ends up as a very rough sketch on a piece of paper.


    One of the roughest sketches!

    So this is the seed of the piece (above).  It’s a crude memo to remember what ticked
    me about the piece.  Depending on the piece, it can be refined more before I work on
    the actual shape.  With #63, I did make a few more, just to have rough idea of working
    with actual materials.

    #63 was made in five sections, partly because of the practicality (to make it manageable
    in my studio, because of the weight issue basically), and partly, I wanted to incorporate
    the dividing lines as part of the piece.  Each section’s core was made with foam and wood.


    Here is how the core looked at its rough stage (below).


    I usually paint the core white to see the shape without the colors of the foam and
    wood.  The form just has to click into the right place before I go on to the next phase.


    Next, the five sections were covered with plaster shells.  In order to extend some
    dividing lines to the individual sections, plaster was applied in sections.



    After going through numerous adjustments, the basic form is decided.  Having
    the actual shape in front of me helps me to see what has to happen in grasping
    the essence of the piece.  For instance, compared to the initial plan, I gave more
    volume to the top part (upper right in the picture below) and the opposite end also
    received a wider top than the lower bottom.



    Working with surface is a big part of my process.  I like a natural, realistic
    appearance that immediately draws me in.  Some sculptors might achieve this by
    meticulous observations of the materials they use.  Or some might chose to focus
    on the forms by minimizing the surface variations.  With my painting background,
    I seem to naturally lean toward making up the whole surface, inch by inch basically.

    For this piece, I put down 8 to 10 layers of flat white enamel to start.  The plaster
    surface was sealed prior to being painted.


    The clean surface is covered with a mixture of wax, resin and tar.  The thick mixture
    is spread slowly with a heat gun.  This layer allows me to see what the surface is
    doing.  The imperfections left in the plastering stage and in the painting stage
    become active elements for the work.


    rough application of plaster

    Marks left by rough application of plaster

    Coarse electric sanding can leave marks

    Marks left by coarse electric sanding

    rough spots around the edge

    Rough spots around the edge

    #63 brought me into a new territory on a few levels.  It’s a first freestanding piece
    with a rather complex shape (compared to the other ones I worked on!).  I wanted
    to fully utilize various views with their own appeals.  I wanted to give the front view
    a certain visual drama, and if you walk around to the side, you would be greeted by
    a different sensation and so on.  Also, I wanted to pull the piece together with a
    freestyle paint job instead of relying too much on textures or repeating patterns.
    Working in this fashion on a 3D surface was a new challenge for me.  The surface
    would be rough and raw.  Simple shapes, lines, subtle tone shifts, contrasts and
    etc. can totally energize, and give significance to a blank field.  An example of this
    approach would be #8 which I finished in 1996:

    #8, 39.5 x 32 x 1.75 inches, 1996, collection of Edward Albee

    #8, 39.5 x 32 x 1.75 inches, 1996, collection of Edward Albee

    The sensation of getting to that point is rather ecstatic.   And with #63, I wanted to
    activate the whole 3D shape:  Give it a sense of all charged up object with its own
    character and history.  It was a piece to throw my euphoric desperation of being in
    my 40s at (you can read a bit about it here), and dig away and explore.

    The decisions in the process are made intuitively.  By intuitive, I don’t mean to be
    random or aimlessly shooting in the dark.  I believe our brains can make certain
    tasks automatic with accumulated experiences and knowledge.  Sometimes in
    our daily lives we feel certain things to be right or wrong just by glancing at them.
    And we try to figure out what logic went into that feeling.  The intuitive step in
    my process is a lot like that.  It’s not a particular reasoning skill or a theory that
    decides the next step but it’s the flash of impulse that strikes when your mind is
    empty yet totally alert to every possible step.  I value this method since it simply
    works in reaching the convincing, realistic presence of the piece, and also it’s a
    totally personal and honest step that comes right out of who you are.  I also
    suspect that the intuitive process would not only encompass our learned skills
    and knowledge but it also reflects our instinctive, physiological tendencies.
    For instance, people have been asking me if they can touch the piece at shows.
    And I gently tell them that the surfaces are fragile. But I really have to admit
    that the sense of touch is a real and important component of our experiences.
    One interesting aspect of this is that recent studies are revealing an intriguing
    mechanism of our lives being influenced by the world of microorganisms.
    Our bodies, inside and outside, are surrounded by layers of bacterial colonies
    which have been influencing our existence in unknown ways. Who knows
    what visual elements trigger our sense of touch which affects the populations
    of those invisible layers around us and in turn influences our physiological
    beings. The intuitive process must go quite deep on many levels.

    OK, let’s try to go over the process by showing you the basic steps I took.  Once
    I got to know the general feel of the surface by browning the entire surface
    (putting the thin tar wax layer), I started to divide the surface with fine lines.


    This further deepens my understanding of the shape and it also gives the suggestion
    of an organized whole with a sense of weight and structural integrity.  It is also
    effective in emphasizing the gestural quality of the shape or suggestion of the
    movement.  Natural, effortless application of lines at the right spots is often needed
    to ensure  an intuitive impression of the surface as opposed to a contrived, manipulative
    impression.  What’s been effective in achieving this is the following technique:


    First, two masking tapes are put side by side real close leaving a very tight gap.


    Second, I prepare either thick paint (I usually use mixtures of Oil Bars which
    has a good ratio of wax and paint for the purpose) or the above mentioned tar,
    wax and resin mixture on a cloth.


    After applying the paint.  I go over the surface with dry cloth.  This will ensure
    the right amount of paint in the gap.


    The straight line you can see above is the result.  You can see how fine it can be
    compared to the pencil lines next to it.  It can be even sharper if I demonstrated
    it on a painted surface.  Unfortunately, for this, I used a cardboard.  The
    transparency of the line can also be adjusted by lifting some paint by putting
    masking tape directly over it before it gets dried.  The wiping process above is
    important since excessive paint would smudge the line during the transparency
    adjustment.  By using ultra thin flexible tapes, it’s possible to draw any sort of
    perfect lines or shapes.

    The divided surface often guides the intuitive placement of patterns and marks,
    which leads to imply tension, balance, gravity and etc. for the piece, just as a
    successful figure drawing would imply all of those with underlining bone
    structures and flexing muscles.



    In addition to the contrasty black patterns, very subtle tone shifts and marks are
    painted.  Although they seem accidental and spontaneus, they are applied in a
    very controlled manner.  Following is an example of applying a small smudge:


    First, the area to be altered is carefully masked.


    Second, paint is applied.


    The opacity of the paint is controlled by lifting some paint with the clear tape.
    The smooth surface of the tape and the even amount of adhesive is great for
    adjusting the strength of the tone consistently.


    First layer removed.


    Second layer removed.


    The third removal achieved the desired tone shift for the area.  This method
    enables bold, spontaneous strokes in a very controlled fashion.  It’s sort of like
    a localized, instant print making technique.  This tape print method can be
    done on much larger areas.  It often produces unexpectedly beautiful tone shifts
    and textures just as you might in mono prints.

    Some areas are treated with sanding and waxing resulting in varied smoothness
    in addition to the tone shift.  You can see an example below (circled area with red).


    Following example shows the combination of controlled smoothness and tone
    shift resulting in an inlay effect:


    An area to have the inlay effect is masked.


    The area is sanded with steel wool (very fine water proof sand paper is also
    used depending on the area).


    You can see the difference in the smoothness by the slight reflection.


    Paint is prepared.


    The excess paint is taken with steel wool.


    Here, unfortunately, the steel wool removed too much paint.  I will have to go
    in again for another try.


    More paint is applied…


    Here, the paint is being removed by kneaded eraser.  It’s a great tool in the
    subtle removal of paint.  A regular eraser is also effective depending on the area.
    I particularly like an electric eraser for detailed removal of paint (my choice is
    the Sakura Electric Eraser.  It’s also a great drawing tool).

    The inlay technique was also used in making the intricate surface of #62 which I
    finished in 2009.  Here is the detail of #62:

    #62 (detail view), 2007-09, 44 x 23 1/2 inches

    #62 (detail view), 2007-09, 44 x 23 1/2 inches

    One of the keys to the intuitive process is to have a fresh perspective that doesn’t
    rule out any possibilities.  However, it’s a tough thing to have, especially when you
    are struggling to see what should be the next step.  It gets particularly tougher
    when you are going into new territories.  You are learning as you go along.  There
    will be more trials and errors.  The harder you try to think, the more likely you are
    to disturb the automatic thinking process that let your visions appear for you…
    I think one effective approach to counter this is to tackle the issue from as many
    ways as possible.  For #63, I set up a computer with a digital camera tethered in
    order to see the piece on screen.  This enabled me to see the piece with different
    lights, color casts, through various filters and etc. in addition to seeing it flipped
    or turned.  Also this allowed me to simulate certain paint jobs before I actually
    worked on the piece. The speed and efficiency is quite useful in making me see
    what is going on with the piece.  The digital files are also good thinking aids
    outside of my studio.


    So after a few years of pushing and pulling, digging and burying, the piece is
    finally done.  One question I get asked often at talks I give is”when do you know
    that the piece is done?”.  To me, it’s done when the piece has an impression of
    simplicity. No matter how complex the piece is, I can grasp the wholeness of
    the mass without making the piece fall apart.  Every element in the piece has its
    function and it is working toward building the solid presence of the piece.  It’s a
    great feeling to have when the piece is done.  Here are some images of the finished
    #63.  The full picture set with large view options can be found at main part of the site.
    Once you go to the site, please click on the bottom icons that say #63.  The set is
    separated into #63 (page 1) and #63 (page 2).

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63, 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

    #63 (detail), 2006-10, 45 x 40 x 24 inches

  • An Architect’s Angle

    In News on

    Once the work goes out of my studio, it finds new contexts and meanings
    in viewers’ minds. It’s fascinating to hear what they see.  Last March, I
    enjoyed an architect, Saurabh Vaidya’s blog post that showed the work
    through his rich, investigative mind.  He just posted his second entry on
    the work.  Here are his 1st and the 2nd entry posted back to back:


    I came across works by two very interesting artists last week,
    Nicolas Moulin who envisages ruins of mega monolithic concrete
    blocks in a deserted landscape while the other being Hiroyuki Hamada
    who designs comparatively small, vaguely futurist looking monoliths.

    (Some of the many Hiroyuki’s tablets that could easily come to be a parts of totem pole
    of a dystopian space age civilization, whose technological advancement has come at
    the price of erosion of memory of history and language…where technology is god.

    Images sourced from

    Hiroyuki’s artifacts that seem to draw semantic nourishment from manga,
    minimalismspace debrisJapanese Zen, Buddhism, God particles,
    Shivalingam, crustaceans, Mars and brush by closely to Nicolas’s Béton
    Brut work that sends roots to Normandy Bunkers, Corbusier, Oplismeno
    skirodema, Berlin Wall, Moai, Rosetta stone, Noah’s Arc etc according
    to me are not thriving on but are just the opposite. They are soil samples
    of the very ground that anchors the tree of Being, from where all these
    references germinate.

    (Images of Nicolas Moulin’s collages sourced from Vulgare one can also find an online
    blog recording by the artist and Amanda Crawley Jackson called
    Beton brut)

    The ability of both these artist to have art works that spread roots
    through history and simultaneously come across as being so basic
    that it forms a part of Lebenswelt, the very ground of universality
    which anchors the roots of metaphysics, to be understood in equal
    ways by every member of the human race is according to me the
    true essence of their work.

    Scale, texture and form, that is all to it, as wise old university
    stalwarts would put it, which according to me has more truth to it
    than the combined cacophony that we seem to have inherited from
    the circus that was post modernism and these two artists working
    independently in different circles and continents seem to echo just
    that. The simplicity of works is refreshing and it just looks very
    very sexy.

    Lebenswelt appeared at Urban Floop on Sundy, March 28, 2010

    Here is his second post:


    During my early days in architecture all of us during a brief phase
    had taken to worshipping Tadao Ando, which secretly we still do in
    some obscure corner of naivety unpolluted by the realisation that
    it cannot be that simple, life is far more complicated, filled with
    contradictions that need to be represented in our spaces, objects,
    skews and corners. Ando had been popular for quite sometime
    then but it was during my first year in Architecture that he built
    Church of the Light a building that worshipped space, made
    concrete an inch more beautiful than what the modernist had left it
    as and we drooled.

    It is this rich simplicity that draws me to Hiroyuki’s work of which I
    have written before
    .  Hiroyuki will be exhibiting three new pieces in
    his next show at Art Sites, a gallery in Riverhead, NY. If you are
    the lucky few around do visit…I personally would like to see the
    scale of these objects…and if they open up like loosely held 3d
    jigsaw puzzles, or do they crack like egg shells, are they hollow
    or filled with a heavy fluid, is there a temperature difference in the
    blacks and whites, browns and greys…I guess I will definitely be
    banned from entering the gallery or his workshop!
    I hope the art work sells and and pray definitely not to clients who
    would use it as bourgeoisie conversational props with their boring
    guests in plush living rooms with matching minimal aesthetics.

    Hiroyuki appeared at Urban Floop on Saturday, August 14, 2010