About the work
These paintings and works on paper can be experienced on various levels – as formal, abstract compositions, as tactile/sensory objects, or as personal narratives or ‘mythologies’.
In terms of imagery, I draw upon motifs of personal significance, most notably from the natural history, culture, artifacts and memories I associate with the Hawaiian Islands, my birthplace, and a family history arising out of Japanese and European roots.
As I work, I allow my memory and imagination to come to the forefront. This process allows me to encounter remembered and imagined beings, and to weave stories based around ancestors, alter egos, and archetypes. As I work I often discover hidden connections and narratives that constelate these figures within a broader collective or historical context.
The works are seeded with an array of particular, recurring images; for example, a glowering war deity, an ‘unknown girl’, and the dark silhouette of an aeroplane or sniper. Such images may fester within the painting over long stretches of time. I repeatedly develop, subvert, and restructure the compositions, burying and excavating these forms, sometimes over the course of several years, until the visual or narrative configuration I’ve been searching for finally emerges.
The accumulation of marks and forms that emerge from this lengthy maturation process creates a layered and nuanced composition that represents a distillation of many thoughts, decisions and actions. The original images continue to exert a subliminal pressure from within the painting, seeping up to the surface and leaving traces of their history.