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.
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.
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.
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.
I am having a show at ‘T’Space in Rhinebeck, NY. It’s a beautiful venue surrounded by trees and the fresh air of Hudson, NY. The orchestration of the light and space in the compact venue creates a shrine-like serenity and harmony.
Lori and Joseph from Bookstein Projects have done an excellent job installing my work. The show will be presented at the ’T’Space website along with a poetry reading by Arthur Sze, and a musical performance by String Noise. I thank Susan Wides at ’T’Space for her hard work in putting everything together. We will also have a video production by Jack of Diamond LLC, which includes an interview between myself and Robert C Morgan. Notes on the making process with images from my studio are also presented. Read more about it at ‘T’Space site.
I’m excited and happy that our collaborative efforts have been going very well, and the show will be presented in an online livestream opening August 22, 2020 at 3PM. Register here.
Here are some images from the show.
Here are some images from Drive By Art.
More info for Drive by Art, an art event organized by Warren Neidich
My recent essay was made available during the event:
Lockdown Therapy for Capitalism
by Hiroyuki Hamada / April 28th, 2020
In Art, Artist, Capitalism, creative process, Culture, Exhibition, Installation, new work, News, Sculpture on
I’ve been asked to participate in an outdoor exhibition titled Drive By Art organized by Warren Neidich. It takes place on the eastern end of Long Island where I’m located. Artists come up with unorthodox ways to show art, and hopefully the event generates constructive discussions on the extraordinary situation we are in. This gives me an opportunity to try placing three of my sculptures outside, which I haven’t done before. Yesterday, my wife and I looked around the woods by our house and discussed how we go about it. We went ahead and placed one of the pieces at a spot my wife noticed. It was eye-opening to see the piece liberate itself at the spot. What a way to interact with nature. Of course, this is hardly new—countless artists prefer to show their work outside—but it’s better late than never. Oh well. We plan to place one right by the road,and we haven’t decided about the last one yet. Pretty exciting. The event takes place on May 9th and 10th, Noon to 5pm. Around 50 artists will participate. I will also make my recent essay available hoping that it will generate some discussions among us.
Please go to the website for more info:
Here are some images from the Bookstein Projects show. The show is up till February 15, 2020.Bookstein Projects60 East 66th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10065Tel (212) email@example.com.................