By: Laura Gomez
Name: Kazunori Hamana
Birthday: December 15, 1969
College: Miracosta College, California
Colour: Navy blue
Book: Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
Movie: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Quote: Doubt everything
Why are you an artist, and when did you first become one?
For me, art is the act of living a conscious life so I have never given much thought as to when I became an artist.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start?
I first think of the context. The things I make are a projection of my senses and have their own story, so I think about how I can match those things to the context and then fill in the details.
What’s the best advice anyone gave you?
Something similar to yin and yang — the idea that even when the sun goes down, it will always rise again.
Do you suffer for your art?
In order to create (carry out self-expression), one must isolate oneself and delve deep into your own psyche. For that reason, you end up spending a lot of time alone, rather than socializing. It means not going to parties and the like.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
I’m not the genius type. For better or worse, I’m the type that is able to balance different forces and I am very careful about making sure my thoughts do not end up overly small or well rounded.
What inspires you to work?
Nature and human history.
You seem to use a lot of symbols in your work. Do your works tell stories or are they simply decorative elements of the project?
I am very interested in the symbols found on ancient pottery (such as that of the Jomon or Yayoi era). I suppose the urge to include symbols grows naturally from that interest, even though I am living in the modern age? I am still exploring where this impulse comes from.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
Cy Twombly and Isamu Noguchi
What other interests do you have outside of art?
Everything to do with being alive. Nature, plants, animals, people, food, music…
You seem to be very aware of the history of works. Where do you see films, photo exhibitions, art perfomances today?
I live in the country side but I still try to get out to art museums as much as possible. I want to see the actual objects. I also spend a lot of time at home gathering and studying reference materials.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art?
I don’t think think there is a scenario where I am not creating art or where I would not have ended up creating art. For example, even if I were unable to make pottery, I would still be making something.
What are your next projects?
Of course, I will continue with pottery but I am also interested in creating artworks from garbage found on beaches or on the road side. I have to make time to finish a piece or two in this vein.