Owen James Gallery is pleased to present our second solo Takuji Hamanaka exhibition.
In this new series, Takuji Hamanaka has introduced a vibrant sense of light and color to his unique collages. Combined with his ongoing interests in restraint, pattern and perceived movement, Hamanaka continues to explore the possibilities of dimensionality in a flat surface.
As a classically-trained Japanese woodblock printmaker, Takuji Hamanaka brings a masterful precision and attention to detail to his constructions. He starts each new series by prescribing and following a certain number of rules that limit what he can and cannot do. By working through these restrictions the artist achieves an interesting visual diversity. In the past, Hamanaka would first print a layer of color woodcut on Washi (Japanese paper). He would then apply many layers of smaller pieces of gampi paper upon the surface. Undulating patterns would appear, breathing a delicate sense of movement and depth into the material.
More recently Hamanaka has started with Bokashi printing on individual sheets of Washi paper. This technique allows him to create gradations of a single color, from lighter to darker tones. These sheets are then cut into smaller pieces, and re-arranged with cut shapes from other Bokashi color prints. New patterned shapes appear in a single layer upon the surface. Sometimes these can take the form of diamonds or triangles, while others are more reminiscent of stars in the night sky, or black holes.
The dramatic, floating colors and designs also bring to mind stained glass windows, such as those in Chartres Cathedral in France. We see a structure that surrounds and defines the luminous color fields. Whether it is the white highlights or darker recesses, the leadlight glow that emanates from the surface seems to slowly draw us in.
With an economy of means and endless ingenuity, Takuji Hamanaka continues to push the boundaries of both printmaking and collage forms.
This exhibition is presented in coordination with Asia Contemporary Art Week. We will participate in ACAW (October 5 through October 26, 2017), alongside 30 leading New York and Asia-based museums and galleries presenting cutting-edge exhibitions, provocative public programs, and festive networking receptions across New York City.
ACAW curated signature programs include: FIELD MEETING: Take 5 - an exclusive art forum for arts professionals (October 14 & 15, 2017) hosted at Asia Society Museum & the School of Visual Arts Theatre, with 30 of today’s best of the best creative minds staging newly conceived performances, talks, & lectures-performances, and THINKING PROJECTS - a series of pop-up exhibitions at select ACAW Consortium partners highlighting established and emerging artists’ long-term, process-oriented artistic endeavors.