The Arts Center at Duck Creek is launching a new exhibition, “Hiroyuki Hamada: Paintings,” this June.
A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 5 from 7 p.m. The exhibit will be on view through June 23. Hours are Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment. The Arts Center at Duck Creek is located at 127 Squaw Road, East Hampton.
Although he began his art career as a painter, Hiroyuki Hamada has been known primarily as a sculptor for the past two decades.
Hamada’s paintings are more actively narrative. The immediacy of painting has allowed the artist to channel his ideas to the viewer in a more direct manner.
“I was aiming to speak a “visual language” based on our perceptions of form elements such as shapes, lines, tones, colors, contrasts and so on. I thought that was the way to transcend our di erences as peoples and speak some sort of a common language,” he says of his paintings.
In this series of paintings, made between 2015 and 2018, Hamada brings the same rigorous craftsmanship he brings to his sculptures, but abandons some of their transcendent purity for more a allegorical or personal interpretation.
In the simplest terms, these paintings are abstractions, but Hamada uses a vernacular similar to his sculptural forms to populate the works. In the context of one another they become a fraternity of somewhat cryptic, highly sensitive characters. The compositions often take the form of dyads, indicating a conversation or parley between the forms and the environment into which they are placed.
“Nameless feelings, unknown events buried in our memories, unknown stories that keep emerging in our collective thoughts, the vast momentum of history that overwhelms us as a burst of emotion, our longing for life, our desire for each other, our fascination for nature, the messages of air, water, wind, light and other elements that are somehow passed on to other matters and energies, the drama which comes with them, and how we as humans fit into all that,” says the artist. “For all these years, what I’m interested in as I make art remains mysterious and elusive. It is my yearning for freedom and my desire to fulfill my life as a human.”
It is important to note the political climate during which these works were made. In many ways the works are a response to the artist’s ongoing concerns about human rights and and the flaws in our current political structures.
“It is a challenge to express what it is to be human, when our perceptions are so systemically and structurally skewed by the framework of our time,” he says.
Several events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, including a performance by The Jam Session’s Jazz at Duck Creek featuring Luma on Saturday, June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. and a talk with the artist on Saturday, June 22 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by a 5 p.m. Jam Session jazz concert with Bill O’Connell / Steve Slagle Band.
All events at Duck Creek are free and open to the public.