Throughout the history of Asian art, clouds have served many functions as framing devices, interstitial motifs and as compositional boundaries. Exploring this universally compelling phenomenon of nature, the Crow Museum of Asian Art
in Dallas is presenting the solo exhibition of Jacob Hashimoto: Clouds and Chaos through Apr. 7, 2019. The exhibitions central work Nuvole (2006-2018) is a large-scale site-specific installation that is on view in Gallery III. It is the first major exhibition to debut in the newly renovated museum, which recently completed a multi-million-dollar expansion including the addition of a new gallery, a reimagined Lotus Shop, interactive street-side Pearl Art Studio and Center for Contemplative Leadership. Celebrating its 20th year, the museum is located in the Dallas Arts District at 2010 Flora St. With the construction now completed, the nonprofit organization launched its next chapter as the Crow Museum of Asian Art, a name that reflects not only the breadth of the collection and programming but also the museums wide and diverse community support.
Hashimotos exhibition at the Crow Museum of Asian Art offers visitors an immersive, shifting, free-floating arena to explore. His work, Nuvole (2006-2018), is composed of thousands of discs or kites made of intricately cut paper collage and bamboo that inhabits a place between painting and sculpture, blurring the line between the work and the space it occupies. He and his team make each disc or miniature kite by hand using handmade papers imported from Japan. Nuvole which means clouds explores how clouds can function as divisions of space while remaining the apotheosis of ethereal formlessness. Hashimotos sculpture, which weaves around the Crow Museums Grand Gallery and over major works from the museums collection, shows what can be found in both the intricate detail of minute components and the large-scale meanings that result from their accumulation.
As we celebrate our 20th year, what a tremendous opportunity to introduce Jacob Hashimoto and his stunning works to the people of North Texas, said Amy Lewis Hofland, executive director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art. Not only are visitors going to be astonished with the grace, magnitude and intricacy of this work, but I think theyll also love learning of the educational aspect. After all, it was his idea to recruit students majoring in sculpture at UNT-Denton to work side-by-side with him to assist in the installation.
Also on display is a selection of Hashimotos latest woodblock and intaglio works. Created during the last three years in collaboration with Durham Press in Pennsylvania, these works are now being exhibited for the first time in a U.S. museum. They are combined with selected wall works from the artists own collection. These graphic works illustrate the range and depth of Hashimotos practice.
The human element is integral to Nuvole (2006-2018), on both a practical and cerebral level. The piece changes with me, Hashimoto explains. Because they exist momentarily throughout my life, you can watch my aesthetics change, my expectations shift. The nature of being alive changes the work. Im excited to be able to create the next evolution of this work at the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Dallas.
Jacob Hashimoto was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1973 and is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Queens, New York. Hashimoto has been featured in solo museum exhibitions at MOCA Paciﬁc Design Center in Los Angeles, MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice, LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Schauwerk Sindleﬁngen in Germany, and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Finland. He has also had solo shows at Mary Boone Gallery in New York, Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, Studio la Città in Verona, Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki, Anglim Gilbert Gallery in San Francisco, and Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai, among others. His work is in the collections of LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, EMMA Saastamoinen Foundation, Schauwerk Sindelﬁngen, The California Endowment, and numerous other public collections.
The idea for bringing Hashimoto to a Dallas museum emerged years ago. While still living in Chicago in 2012, Crow Museum Curator Jacqueline Chao was heading to another gallery when she came upon an incredible installation of blue-and-white kites in progress, all evenly strung from the ceiling and forming what seemed like a giant wave that was slightly swaying with the wind.
The colors of the papers were vibrant and the geometric formation so incredibly intriguing, I felt as though I had stepped into some sort of pixelated dream, said Chao. I never forgot about this experience, and so years later, after having moved to Dallas and accepting the position of curator at the Crow Museum, I reached out to Jacob. After a studio visit and a trip to Dallas, we determined that he could use our museum for one of his site-specific installations.
We explored how to integrate our Museums beloved Mughal façade (installed in our largest gallery) into his installation, and Jacob suggested the idea of working with the gallerys architecture, bringing the outside inside, perhaps creating an outdoor feeling or sense of sky inside, added Chao. From that original conversation, I knew that whatever he created would be an incredible experience for our visitors.
The theme of focusing on clouds aligns with the Crow Museums 20th anniversary kick-off. Hashimoto explains that clouds have played a variety of roles as a visual element in the arts of Asia throughout time. A cloud could conjure anything from a celestial Daoist realm to lingzhi, medicinal mushrooms of immortality once believed to revive the dead. The generative and auspicious potential of clouds has long existed in the history of art. The amorphous nature of mist in dialogue with the tangible and rigid has long inspired the work of artists, designers and architects, from Fujiko Nakayas cloud paintings and fog sculptures, to Diller and Scofidios Blur Building in Lake Neuchâtel. In todays era of big data, clouds have also come to represent the negligibly small, where modular bits of information are now amassed into infinitely scalable systems that function at a distance, removed from sight but still lingering overhead. Physically in conversation with the Museums architecture and prominent permanent collection, Nuvole (2006-2018) poetically points to the generative and collaborative relationships and creative conversations that have occurred between artists over time.