Jacob Hashimoto's amazing new exhibition at Makasiini Contemporary!
In 1953, the Venezuelan artist Gego wrote of her approach to geometric abstraction: “Relations of lines, created, neither from the reality of seeing, nor from the reality, of knowing. Image that dissolves reality.” Like Gego’s suspended wire constellations, Jacob Hashimoto’s kites – assemblages of painted or printed rice paper amulets strung together to form mercurial abstracted landscapes – challenge the idealized form of the grid, as well as the hierarchical notions of support and ground.
As with his previous kites, the eight works at Makasiini Contemporary are moved by the contingencies of their environment: a breeze or vibration might activate the suspended modular circles, setting the compositions into shimmering indeterminacy. Each is a meditation on the ways in which disparate parts cohere into a gestalt.
Hashimoto produced these kites in 2020 and early 2021, as the pandemic reconstituted our conceptions of personal and collective space, modes of communication, and interdependence. In isolation, we increasingly relied on images of the world that began to dissolve, if not replace, reality. Working alone in the studio for the first time, Hashimoto found his production model fragmented and slowed. As he collaborated with his assistants, each contributing from their own discrete space, new vocabularies emerged.
These compositions reference Rorschach tests and mandalas – images that serve to order and filter the processes of perception and interpretation, images that join individual experience with communal and cosmic systems. The designs found on each printed module are variously transparent and opaque, ranging from renderings of plant cellular material to leaf patterns to constellations of stars. In all their complexity, Hashimoto’s kites revel in the space between seeing and knowing.