An Elderly Rose, (c)2012 Hitomi Kammai
This month in the lead up to the opening of RECURSIVE October 9th, I’ll be posting short interviews with exhibiting artists Hitomi Kammai, Ant Pearce, Simon Fell and Susan Francis. We’ll explore some of the issues involved in their work related to repetition.
Feel free to leave a comment below, we love a good discussion!
Hitomi’s sense of wonder is manifested through the tension between opposites in her work, what was destruction turns to emancipation. Inspired by her own life experiences, Hitomi creates simulations of a lived reality presenting a poetic view of simulacra through her work. It is through this repetitive dialogue with opposites and simulation that Hitomi looks for humanity; in the dichotomy of who we project ourselves to be and our true nature.
- You say in your artist statement, you want your work to entice people to explore the universe of the artificial. What is in that world you want people to find?
My works are a description of human existence. In my works, people can find my surprise and wonder about ourselves. We live in an environment surrounded by human-made objects and thoughts. Even nature is modified by us. Living in this circumstance, it seems to me we construct enormously. Yet, everything is actually about to disappear in a moment. So why do we do it? It’s just how our existence is. In the end, we are also a part of nature. We are made to live our lives as much as we can and burn our energy till we die just as the other animals do.
- How do you feel about simulation? Do you think it is necessary or has it separated us from nature and ourselves?
[It] helps people to understand nature. For example, when I paint a face of a model, I need to know that less details can be seen in the shadow part than in the lighter side. Without understanding these facts of how the nature is made, the painting does not [come] close to a realistic appearance. But in terms of art practice, I don’t think it is necessary. Of course we love nature. But nature is not only art. It seems to me the traditional education of studying paintings that are copies of nature is killing the originality of students. I used to do several hundreds of still-life and nude paintings. When you paint the same objects, your hands come to remember all the process of putting this colour here, that grazing there, and so on. Because of doing too much of it, it made it difficult to get out of these decided ways of painting. I studied them more than 15 years ago but I still don’t think of painting models again, as I feel I could not paint free from what I have been taught.
- Your work is quite various. What would you say is the common link?
It’s the result of my passion to look for an always better artistic expression. When a series of works achieves a good quality, I think how I can make my expression even greater rather than continuously making the same works. If you look at art history, you can find that artists who had plenty of creativity renewed their expression several times in their artist life.
However, the theme of my works is always “Humanity”. Some works do not look like that apparently, but if people pay attention then they can find out that my works always contain something human inside.
For instance, my film titled “ecstasy” was first set by the given subject of eroticism during a film-making workshop. I wanted to shoot something different from the others. So I decided to describe how the feeling of eroticism occurs from a scientific point of view. I chose to film light bulbs that are man-made curious objects and give me electric inspiration. By using light bulbs, I thought of showing oestrogen and progesterone, hormones that produce the feeling of ecstasy in the mind. I continued working with the film after the workshop was finished. Initially, it was only some images about an encounter. But after two years, it evolved into a whole story of desire and love.
Hello, (c)2009 Hitomi Kammai