Takuya Hayaki - Evidence Of
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Takuya Hayaki

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Takuya Hayaki is a Japanese mixed-media artist based in Brooklyn, New York, originally from the Saga prefecture of Kyushu, which is the southernmost island of Japan’s main islands. How he came to the U.S. is how many of us find ourselves abroad – traveling and searching for adventure. After months of journeying across the US, he arrived in NYC, unfortunately, with less than $10 in his pocket. However, fast forward eight years later he’s carved out a life for himself as a creative in NYC. Hayaki’s art education was steeped in traditional ancient Japanese metal casting which has influenced but not defined his art practice.

Hayaki draws inspiration from time, the transformations that take place within it, the layers and weathering of surfaces that mark its passing. His approach to art-making is equal parts organic and experimental, often allowing the medium to direct him but not allowing it full control. By hand and tools he manipulates the work, adding and removing materials. This back and forth exchange often gives way to a kineticism and other-worldly abstract forms.

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Of 12 Plates

This first work presented, showcases Hayaki’s background in ancient Japanese metal casting. Using tools that he made himself, Hayaki carved his design into two slabs of soapstone, a soft and malleable rock made primarily of talc. Each plate, takes nearly two weeks to cast in bronze and then finish with a distinctive and marvelous teal patina.

Though every plate was cast from the same mold, each design is unique. Hayaki uses a reverse relief process, wherein he fills in the carved design with clay, and begins by casting a completely blank plate. Then with each subsequent casting, small amounts of clay are removed, little by little revealing more of the carved design with each new plate. Across the twelve bronze plates in this work, the image grows out of abstract lines and shapes, a process inspired by Takuya’s admiration for the constellations that filled the night sky over Fukuoka. The final plates, most clearly delineate his design of concentric symbols and abstract imagery. These symbols, found on ancient Japanese artifacts, have been deciphered by anthropologists to mean ‘to protect’ and ‘to cherish’. The abstract image in the center shows a man, representing Hayaki, swimming with a pod of dolphins. This work very much encompasses Hayaki’s romanticism; he believes in the cosmos, and that the power that creates the stars is also the power that fills the deep blue ocean with life.

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Listening Apparatus

These four devices, cast from various metals, are made with the purpose of inspiring us to stop and listen and transcend. By placing a device up to one’s ear it will either amplify or distort the surrounding sounds. The gold one is made in the shape of the human heart; the black is inspired by the dark silhouette of a mountain cast under moonlight; the silver is inspired by the wind, and the blue one is inspired by the ocean. The apparatus were designed with the intention that they be easy to pack and take on a trip as Hayaki did when he travelled across the United States. To every new friend he made along the way, he offered the chance to hear the world in a new way.

L-R: Gold object (Brass); Black object (Bronze); Silver object (Pewter); Blue object (Bronze)

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Untitled Works, Takuya Hayaki, 2014, Sumi ink on paper

These dark works on paper are made using sumi ink, a deep black ink made from charcoal. For this work, Hayaki creates mysterious imagery first by applying this ebony ink onto paper and then by stripping painted areas with sanding. Again and again he will do this, hoping that by removing a layer he might discover something of the images’ essence but not quite wanting to unveil it all. Until he feels he has met this moment, he continues to erase in order to “reveal.” Perhaps each work for him is something of a transient point, charting the passage through his mental galaxy.

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Cracked, Split, Unwieldy

-Works Available for Purchase-

In Hayaki’s most current work here, he takes up a very iconic medium of NYC, the spray can. Unlike the street artists whose adeptly painted murals and graffiti art dot the five boros, Takuya uses spray paint because he’s uncomfortable with it and, in fact, is uninterested in learning to wield it because not knowing is exactly why he enjoys it. In this work, with a broad and seemingly psychedelic palette, he applies his philosophy of creating; he will add, remove and manipulate the medium until he has reached that esoteric limit. Perhaps he never likes to feel that he is in full control or that he has revealed something completely concrete because that would be, in his eyes, removing the mind from thinking, imagining, dreaming. This is the spirit and alchemy I see running throughout his work.

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Untitled, Takuya Hayaki, 2016, Spray paint on paper, 8 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches

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Takuya Hayaki is a Japanese mixed-media artist based in Brooklyn, New York, originally from the Saga prefecture of Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan’s main islands. Hayaki draws inspiration from time, the transformations that take place within it, the layers and weathering of surfaces that mark its passing. Follow on Instagram @hayakitakuya

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