“Artists are blessed with that rare moment when everything disappears in our studios except for our works and ourselves—that moment when we feel the profound connection to what we have worked on as it melds with the world, space and time.
Such an occasion is indeed very rare but it is what I strive to capture while I struggle in my studio.
I believe that the exploration to perceive the world far beyond the framework of corporatism, colonialism and militarism continues to be a crucial part of being an artist and being human.” — HH
Hamada was born and raised in Tokyo. He holds an MFA from the University of Maryland, has taught sculpture at Penland School of Craft, and served as a Visiting Artist at the Vermont Studio Center. Over the years, he has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan Fellowship), Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and MacDowell Colony (The Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship).
Hamada has exhibited widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike. His work has been shown by Lori Bookstein Fine Art and O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York, NY; Guild Hall and folioeast, East Hampton, NY; Southampton Arts Center, Southampton, NY; Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI; The List Gallery; Swarthmore, PA; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC, among others.
In 1998, Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2009 he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He was a two time recipient of New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (2009 and 2017), and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018.
Hamada lives and works in East Hampton, New York.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold drawing & mixed media
HIROYUKI HAMADA speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ YOU ARE A PAINTER AND SCULPTOR AND ALSO MAKE PRINTS. TELL ME ABOUT THE VARIOUS MEDIUMS AND MATERIALS?
HH/ I am working with resin, plaster, and foam for my sculptures. I like that they allow flexibility in the process and they are very easy to work with. My current paintings are mostly done with acrylic paint, which allows me to work fast, although I work very very slow. My prints start as drawings and they are finished on my computer. However, the primal challenge is making the ink alive when it hits the paper. It’s been extremely humbling to work with the elusive quality expressed on papers.
CM/ HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
HH/ I really like to let the work speak for itself. I try hard to listen and see how it wants to manifest itself. I struggle quite a bit in my studio—I try to cultivate a momentum in me to tackle the work, and to connect elements to see cohesive dynamics. I try to be open and flexible about my approach. Sometimes amazing things happen but mostly it’s about trying, failing and mostly, again about listening and seeing.
CM/ WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THE EAST END? AND HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
HH/ My wife is from the East End, and I started to come out here around 1998 or so. I think it was probably the first time I’d really felt seasons—the rhythm of nature must be affecting me.
CM/ WHERE DO YOU DO YOUR WORK?
HH/ I have a studio next to our house. The building has a few sections for different kinds of work—office area for prints, a little outside space for sanding, cutting, walls for paintings, a wood shop area, and a spray booth.
CM/ DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM OTHER EAST END ARTISTS?
HH/ I do have respect for those artists in the area and the proximity to their former studios does arouse some sort of a kinship as a fellow explorer of visual elements.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKS BY ANY LOCAL ARTISTS IN YOUR HOME?
HH/ I have some pieces by Bill King in my studio. He lived a few minutes away from my place and we visited each other’s studios once in a while. His pieces remind me of the memories. We also have received some nice artworks as gifts from our artist friends . . . I guess I would rather see great art in public spaces so that we can all look at them.
PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of drawing & mixed media
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold sculpture