ROAD SHOW 2023
HIROYUKI HAMADA: MATTER ON GROUND
September 9 to October 10, 2023
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.
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.
Hiroyuki Hamada’s exhibition highlights include shows at Gana Art Bowang (Seoul, South Korea); The Arts Center at Duck Creek, East Hampton; Guild Hall of East Hampton; Bookstein Projects, New York City; The List Gallery at Swarthmore College; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC; and OK Harris Works of Art, New York City, where he began his solo exhibition career with wall hanging sculptures. Hamada’s studio practice includes sculpture, painting, and Piezography prints; his visual language and explorations in search of sharing essential qualities of experience have developed moving amongst these mediums. Hamada has been the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant and twice received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in sculpture; in 2018, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2020, he was named recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Mid-Career Residency at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Hamada lives and works on the East End of Long Island with his family.
UPCOMING RELATED PROGRAMS
Opening Reception | Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 3 PM
Artist Talk | Friday, September 29, 2023 at 6 PM
Closing | Tuesday, October 10, 2023