This body of work is focused on the manipulation of small basalt boulders. Interested in revealing the unseen surfaces and textures laying hidden within, I dissect and reconfigure the stones to create a sense of movement, growth and expansion. Through my interaction with these stones, they become more like entities and less like rubble. The resulting objects possess a bold quietness which inspires contemplation and introspection.
With the historical implications of stone in mind, each piece is named after a basalt source somewhere in the modern or ancient world, as there is little difference between the mineral composition of Hawaiian basalt versus that from Vietnam or Russia.
Occasionally, an impression on paper is made from these slices, further capturing the hidden elegance that lies within these overlooked and common objects. These prints can be found here.
120"x120"x170", Black Plastic Sheeting, 2015
This piece was installed at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Art and Art History Department from January - February 2015.
Our brain perceives boundaries through our senses, informing the ways in which we relate to our environment. Entry explores this interaction as it entices the audience to penetrate and experience the space with their body, rather than simply their eyes.
I am interested in enveloping the participant in a moment of transcendence and mindfulness—to be here, now. The geometric form is an abstraction of the entry to the Thurston Lava Tube on the Big Island, an immersive architectural space produced by the creative power of nature itself.
Entry - An Art Installation by Kamran Samimi
Kamran Samimi's large-scale architectural installation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Department of Art and Art History.
Entry - An Art Installation by Kamran Samimi
A short progression through Kamran Samimi's large-scale architectural installation at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Department of Art and Art History.
This sculpture was created for a Honolulu Biennial Selects site-responsive immersive multi-media installation entitled Mauna Kea.
Informed by a topographic view of Mauna Kea, I physically cut out the mountain from the paper, focusing instead on the atmosphere, or negative space around the mountain. On the rearmost sheet of paper an image of lava rock is printed, indicating the connection between earth and sky, the macroscopic and microscopic world.
30"x10"x14", Lava Rock and Glass
While glass is often seen as structured, industrialized and fragile, stone is thought of as solid, unrefined and organic. Insidentally, both basalt and glass are both composed primarily of silica. While sawing through the stone, I was interrupted as it cracked and revealed its heart to me. Half of its heart was then placed on the opposite side and inserted the sheet of glass.
A tenuous relationship now exists with these two materials, as the glass simultaneously interrupts and supports the stone.
22"x30", Relief Prints on Paper
This sheet of lava rock, extracted from the island of Hawaii, has sacrificed its structural integrity for my selfish printing. The earth from which it came quietly endures humanity's reckless overuse of its resources, consuming and destroying everything we come in contact with. Even when we create something new, its production is only achieved by the sacrifice of its ingredients.
140"x140"x46", White Granite, Lava Rock(Basalt) and Bamboo Leaves
Memorial is dedicated to a great loss that I recently suffered. I have spent some time each day tending to this memorial, and I will to do so as long as I continue to grieve. Eventually, as time heals my emotional wounds, I will be able to let time have its effect on the artwork, slowly disarranging the installation. Additionally, It is my hope that through the physical expression of my sadness and sorrow, I have created a small moment of beauty that can be experienced by passers-by.
24" x 36", Archival Pigment Print, 2013
Recent advents in technology allow for a global interconnectedness through access to imagery of remote locations. We have also been granted new vantage points of familiar places that enrich our understanding of the world we think we know.
Each location in this series has a certain significance to me. The process of using their topographic textures to create abstract compositions unearths a spiritual element of these places that otherwise remains hidden.
These prints are for sale and can be purchased at my store.
20"x6"x8", Cut Lava and Teak, 2014
Laupahoehoe Point is the name of a beach park on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii where I grew up. As a child, I spent many weekends playing in the water and exploring the ironwood forests which are situated on the shore. However, Laupahoehoe Point is perhaps most infamous for the Tsunami which hit on April 1st, 1946, claiming 24 lives and changing countless others.
This sculpture, constructed mainly of hawaiian cut lava, serves as both a memorial to those who lost their lives there, but also as a tribute to my own fond memories of this special place.
24"x36"x24", Newsprint Paper, 2014
Soft Edge was inspired by a topographic map of Oahu's Ko'olau mountain range, geometrically abstracting the contour lines before cutting them out of newsprint paper. Over the next several months, the paper will become brittle and will deteriorate, just as the mountain range slowly erodes over several million years. Paper and rock, two seemingly opposite materials, will both eventually succumb to inevitable entropy.
44"x12"x76" Polyeurathane Foam, 2014
A geometric abstraction of Mauna Kea, Elevation was inspired by the mountain's topography. The piece is constructed of a synthetic material with characteristics similar to pumice, a lightweight and extremely porous stonetypically ejected from volcanos. Comprised of thin but wide layers of material, the piece’s creation mimics the way thatlava flowed out of this ancient shield volcano overa million years ago.
Mauna Kea is simultaneously considered by many Hawaiians to be a sacred dwelling place of spirits and deities, meanwhile the scientific community sees it as the ideal place to to elevate humankind's understanding of our relationship with the cosmos.
44"x60", Relief Print on Paper, 2014
Created by printing 13 separate blocks of wood in diminishing succession, Erosion references the visual language of topographic maps. After the pieces were printed, they were stacked horizontally with the smallest piece on top, mirroring the print. The wooden forms are the negitive space from Diminishing Sequence.
The three-dimensional form is currently installed in a pool of water, creating a miniature island. Exposed to the elements, the wood has begun to break down, reflecting the way all landmasses inevitably erode over time. This print serves as a record of the island form before its decomposition.
48"x48"x180", Plywood and Wire, 2014
DiminishingSequence is an experiment integrating light, space and object. Two-dimensional planes are arranged in space to create the feeling of a three dimensional object. The geometric forms within the planes diminish, encouraging the viewer's gaze to be drawn into this tunnel through space. Before focusing on each of the fifteen planes separately, we respond to the essence of the entire undulating form, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Diminishing Sequence Movie
28"x42"x6", Steel, 2013
Gravity was constructed by joining structural support beams from a demolished building. These beams appear to lean against one another, with the tallest beam supporting their collective weight. The title relates to the notion that what goes up, must come down, as all structures eventually fall as a result of gravity and time.
50"x8"x32", Cast Iron, 2013
By using materials that have history of their own, an extra level of meaning is added to this piece. Nexus was composed of eight chemistry stands welded together, reanimating waste which is generated by technological and scientific advancement.
THE SILENT MACHINE
76" x 76", Stencil Release Print, 2010
The Silent Machine refers to our brains, silently processing the world around us, as well as our relationships with each other. Mandalas are typically used to transport the viewer to another mental state. The aim of this piece is no different. While following the contours with their eyes, the viewer's mind explores the connection between the people in the piece, as well as the people in the viewer's own life.
22" x 30", Screenprint, 2010
Twenty six structures were drawn out and overlaid to produce visions of both distopia and utopia. Printed with white ink on black paper, Babel depicts a distopic world where civilization is piled on itself.
Asgard is constructed out of the same twenty six buildings, but is printed on creme, lightweight paper and presents a more idealized metropolis, where the city is built on a floating island, with structures both above and below the horizon.
22 x 34", Screenprint, 2012
An experiment in opacity, transparency and density. This work was created by printing a translucent image repeatedly until it built up and created an opaque image.