Interview | Aiko Hachisuka and John Williams
Los Angeles-based artist couple Aiko Hachisuka and John Williams are partners in love, life, and art. Their connected but distinct fine art practices converge philosophically and at times formally to reveal the kind of separate togetherness after which all modern dyadic relationships strive. It's a vague presence in the traces of the other's absence, a confluence and proximity in being adjacent rather than superimposed. This feeling of partnership frames the new artworks by both in their first ever double solo exhibition at Van Doren Waxter's Chrystie Street gallery in New York.
Hachisuka, working with textile, found materials, and paint, creates anthropomorphic sculptural masses from found clothing, staging unexpected shifts in scale, while Williams' paintings are sculpturally devised, systemically staged compositions made from preparatory assemblages of collage, photography, projected shadow, and light. An affinity and conceptual kinship resonate across each's undeniably individual use of media and found objects, especially in their interest in its more socially inflected flotsam. Whether it be a piece of found clothing or something more ephemeral like the perfect white light of a 70's era classroom overhead projector, the end result of both artist's work is satisfyingly abstract without having to sacrifice the poetics of the referential. Their output is distinctly their own rather than collaborative per se, but the kind of generative discourse that shapes it, exchanged comfortably and in perpetuity, comes from the genuine intimacy of minds met.
When asked about the physical nature of her work Hachisuka offered, "The body is ever present, particularly in my use of discarded clothing. Volume is important, as each piece is to be experienced from multiple and simultaneous vantage points. The clothing I use is intact, stuffed, and assembled. It's about this expansion of experience; they're not static pieces." Guided by details like buttons and unusual fabrics and seams, her deliberate object sculptures are sewn, painted, composed,"I want the abstract material experience [of the sculpture] to precipitate the eventual realization of [its material] familiarity," says Hachisuka, each piece upon closer inspection eventually reveals the independent parts of its soft, and somewhat counterintuitive, gestalt.
John William's paintings are similarly staged with intent and process-based investigations. He uses technologies, both digital and analog, to investigate time and space. Using collage, photography, projectors, and film gels, Williams is exploring a two-dimensional medium with three-dimensional implements, creating abstract, gestural work with as much strategic plotting required of an architect. "I think that what connects our practices is the fact that we spend as much time inside the thing as outside the thing," says Williams, "there are a whole body of decisions and material preparations made, processes I think of in terms of engineering, before anything is actually committed to a final form." Williams goes on to say, "We're both searching in our work. It's experimental; it's not all in service of finding formal balance and spontaneous resolution. [My] paintings are externally constructed rather than internally resolved. All of the foundations I've laid in advance mean that I know the process will hold it together."
At the heart of both of their practices is this penchant for and an unwavering belief in the transcendent potential of a well-devised material method. Hachisuka laughs surreptitiously, "My process is designed to leave as little space as possible for me to get in the way."
Aiko Hachisuka | John Williams at Van Doren Waxter from August 29 - September 29
195 Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002
Written by Marieke Treilhard
Photos by Aiko Hachisuka and John Williams