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Tatsuki Hakoyama: Searching for the Middle Path

A banner composing of two works from Tatsuki Hakoyama, one features a figure with a paper hat swinging a sword and another composing of eight total parts featuring origami animals.

October 16th - November 10th, 2017
Lecture: Thursday, October 26th 3 - 4 pm
Reception: Thursday, October 26th 4 - 6pm

This exhibition will feature paintings by Tatsuki Hakoyama, an artist and educator living in Grand Rapids, MI. His work depicts the struggle to find the middle ground between traditional and contemporary lifestyles based within the various countries he has lived. He received his B.S. in Art from Central Michigan University and his M.F.A. in Painting from Kendall College of Art and Design.

The lecture in conjunction with this exhibition is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  See below for video of lecture.

A painting by Tatsuki Hakoyama. Awaken the Giant, 80 A painting by artist Tatsuki Hakoyama. Bushido, 2014, 60
A painting by Tatsuki Hakoyama. More than We Can Chew, 2014, 84  A painting by Tatsuki Hakoyama. When I Will Fly Far, 2013, 60

*Photos shown above may not be in the actual exhibition.

Artist Statement

Identity, whether it is individual or cultural, has become a common topic of discussion in recent decades.  These discussions are byproducts of the change in environment as advancements in technology promote globalization, communication, and travel, contributing to the creation of the third space and hybridity between interacting cultures.  These identities that shift through time impact the world in both positive and negative ways.

"Searching for the Middle Path" places emphasis on anthropological ideas revolving around culture, including preservation, environmental conflicts, and individual identity within the contemporary societies.  Through the juxtaposition of symbols that create multilayered narratives that are reminiscent of Surrealist and Magic Realist paintings, this work attempts to analyze, criticize, and question how community, whether local or global, impacts the perception of the world as a culture while searching for an ideal balance.  This ideal is to find the middle path-equilibrium between oppositions-with emphasis on the interrelations of traditional lifestyle and the more contemporary, based on careful consideration of the boundaries of cultural and historical knowledge.

Based on lifestyles that I have experienced in both developed and developing nations of Japan, Samoa, and the United States, I assess various aspects of society through comparisons.  These paintings depict my struggle to find the middle path between the significance of tradition and contemporary lifestyles that seem to oppose much of the traditional ways.  This body of work represents my search for balance in an attempt to create an ideal third space between traditional and contemporary that will allow for preservation of culture, nature, and development.

Video of October 26th Lecture on SVSU Campus

All gallery exhibitions, lectures and receptions are free and open to the public. Click the following link for open gallery hours or call (989) 964-2291. The University Art Gallery is located in the Arbury Fine Arts Center on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University,

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