June 23rd-July 28th.
An artists reception will be held on June 23rd from 6-9pm.
When trying to write about Hiroyuki Hamada, I found myself without proper words. For months I tried to sit down and focus in on the work. Exploring all the usual avenues one would take when approaching an art piece: cultural, historical, philosophical, formal, personal, I found myself with a notebook full of random notes and streams of thought, but nothing clear and binding.
Then it dawned on me, that Hamada was in fact an amalgamation of everything I thought about and wrote down while thinking about single, distinct patterns of meaning. Hamada had etched out, drilled in, painted over, layerd upon layer, slapped down, smoothed out, affixed, blended and hammered together a visual tablet. Through his use of materials, burlap, plaster, oil, enamels, solvents, wax, wood, resin, tar and staples the artist and the art were telling me his story.
It was in his background that I found the key. A "teenage delinquent" as Hamada called himself, uprooted from suburban Japan to a steel town in West Virginia. Hamada went from being an ordinary, bored kid in the majority in Japan to being an extreme minority displaced from his cultural roots knowing little English. He found refuge in art. He found communication in line, tone and shape. He turned frustration, anger, confusion and desperation into the abstract. Hamada experimented with texture and surface, then eventually taking the work more sculptural at the same time still considering the work paintings. These elements, tied in with years of trying various materials and substances (his pieces take 2-3 years to complete) became about finding the solution to what his mind and his eyes were seeing. Like struggling to find the perfect word, Hamada was constructing painted sentences/objects with layer upon layer of misunderstanding, eventually finding cohesion and a unique voice.
Hamada's work is about communicating, the construction of a language in line, form, color, materials and alteration, sometimes savage, sometimes methodical. Written over years of doubt, elation, self-abuse and happiness.
Also introducing Baltimore based photographer, Elena Volkova who will be shown in the "Backroom Gallery".
Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, Elena Volkova creates photographs that exist in-between the tensions of nothing and something, and its manifestations in everyday reality. The notion of the "Void", an endless white expanse, relays a mysterious allure, a seemingly pure "beyond" where uncertainty collides with serenity and peace for belief.
Volkova lives in Baltimore and is completing her MFA at MICA in July.
Randall Scott Gallery
1326 14th Sttet NW
Washington, DC 20005