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smithsonian artist hashimoto: two part exhibition

updated sun 11 sep 05


Kathy Lake on sat 10 sep 05

NEWS RELEASE: July 9, 2005 - For Immediate Release
Xiem Gallery, 1563 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena CA 91104 - 626.794.5833 Kathleen M. Lake, M.A. - Xiem Studio, Media
Relations -

Smithsonian Artist, Barbara Hashimoto, Takes Multifaceted Talents to
Ground-Breaking Ceramics Gallery

Exhibition card:

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA/KMLake -- September 5, 2005 -- Barbara Hashimoto,
whose work "In Taxila"( clay, book and encaustic, 1998), is part of the
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection, is staying true to her
distinctive, multi-disciplinary, approach to art in using a broad range of
expressive media for her exhibition opening at Xiem Gallery, Saturday,
September 17th. Hashimoto, who works in ceramics, installation and
performance, is difficult to categorize in traditional terms and perhaps
this leads to her freedom of expression and ease of movement between
complex creative disciplines. Her work both attracts and challenges the
viewer. Hashimoto's unusual ability to absorb historical context,
political structures and post-modern pop culture and intelligently distill
these seemingly disparate realms while producing works of great
sensitivity and beauty, makes her a an artist whose work will continue to
provide cultural markers of international relevance for decades to come.
Sculpture Magazine's Collette Chattopadhyay has described Hashimoto's
style as, "Defining a circuit of exchange between East and West, between
so-called low and high culture, her works both deconstruct popular and
historically respected voices, pointing to their patriarchal paradigms and
whispering of both the failure and dream for a greater democratization of
social power." While many have strong feelings about these important
issues, few have Hashimoto's talent for creating works evoke thought
without overstating or imposing a certain viewpoint. Further, because her
commentary appears to be a genuine expression of her personal process in
understanding such challenging issues, each resulting work is
aesthetically sublime. Much like a whispered invitation; Hashimoto entices
the viewer through great artistic talent, captures the imagination and
then ruthlessly expands the captive's social reality.

While Hashimoto's sculptural work easily stands alone as a major
accomplishment and she continues to produce work of quality and interest,
this is clearly not enough for this hungry mind as she continues to
swiftly change and constantly add to her artistic repertoire. The format
of her two-part exhibition allows for a clear understanding of her
development over a 15-year period and a separate opportunity to experience
the artist's newest works which embody her current perspective and
artistic direction. The Performance Art piece to be presented during the
September 17th opening promises to provide a grand introduction to
Hashimoto's part one, retrospective show, "How Comes This To Be
Furnished?" Part two of Hashimoto's exhibition, "Return to Tablulae
Rasae" will open on October 21st and presents her newest works inspired by
the writings of John Locke. Reflecting on her choice of titles How Comes
It To Be Furnished? and Return to Tabulae Rasae, the artist cites John
Locke (1632-1704), credited with initiating the concept of the Tabula
Rasa, or blank slate, as a preliminary stage of cognitive and affective
development. The following lines are from John Locke's "Essay Concerning
Human Understanding,"

"Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all
characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence
comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man
has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the
materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from

Most recently attracting critical acclaim in the =93Terra Nova=94 exhibition=

at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Hashimoto=92s work has been
exhibited throughout the United States, Japan and Israel. Her exhibition
at Xiem Gallery is her first solo show in the Los Angeles area in three
years. The Xiem Gallery, an emerging force in the Southern California arts
community has a growing reputation for presenting contemporary ceramics of
unusual quality and design innovation, provides a perfect match for
Hashimoto's diverse portfolio.

[1] Chattopadhyay, Collette, "Barbara Hashimoto's Critique of Power,"
Sculpture Magazine, October 2002

Images of Hashimoto=92s work:

Selected articles relating to Hashimoto's work: Sculpture Magazine: ; Ceramic Art and
Perception: ; Coagula
Art Journal:


Source - K.M.Lake, M.A. - is a freelance writer and arts marketing
consultant with undergraduate degrees in fine art and psychology and a
graduate degree in clinical psychology. A ceramacist, painter and
printmaker, her studio and business office are located in Tujunga, CA.
Please contact Ms. Lake at 818.353.1916 for any information or for press
services related to this press release and the upcoming exhibition by
Barbara Hashimoto at Xiem Gallery. Members of the press are invited to
schedule private viewings of the exhibition that meet their scheduling
needs and both the artists and Xiem Gallery director, Suzette Munnik will
happily provide special access for exclusive interviews. Additional images
available upon request.