Japanese Cedar, Mango, and Paperbark Tree, Sizes vary between 50” and 80” tall
The Totem series is a assortment of sculptural objects which reference the non-physical world. Each of these pieces uses wood which has been manipulated to suggest the immaterial aspects of nature such as growth, time, gravity and change.
Each totem is anointed with different substrates, including japanese caligraphy ink, indigo pigment, and paint, each working to accentuate and uncover the soul within the wood. The sculptures stand at human-scale, further encouraging the contemplation of one’s own place within the universe.
Each is Approx. 8”x8”x38”, Basalt, Steel, 2019
Stones are created through dynamic motion, and some of this movement is reintroduced into this seemingly silent materials by the act of dividing and reconfiguring. The resulting facets reveal the stone’s inner matrix while their shifting configuration references the impermanent nature of life. Each stone is suspended in space, further contributing to this movement, as each stone becomes weightless and ascends.
50”x12”x46”, Melaleuca (Paperbark) and Sumi Ink , 2019
Sectioned and segmented, two separate pieces of Paperbark wood are pared down and placed beside one another. Each sculpture’s exposed inner facets are anointed with a layer of Japanese Sumi ink, accentuating the contrast between geometric and organic.
The rhythm created by dissection at regular intervals encourages a meditative energy which emanates from within these two entities, as they seem to lean and twist their forms to be closer to one another.
18”x8”x85”, Queensland Maple & Stone, 2019
Sectioned and segmented, a slab of Queensland Maple is endowed with a feeling of ascension. Its twisting form appears to be in the process of evaporating as its slender figure soars upwards. The rhythm created by dissection at regular intervals encourages a meditative energy which emanates from within this towering monument.
10"x8"x33", Koa and Basalt, 2018
A sectioned block of Koa is endowed with the sensation of ascension. Its twisting form appears to be in the process of evaporating as its slender figure soars upwards. The rhythm created by dissection at regular intervals encourages a meditative energy which emanates from within this substantial column.
39"x 42"x 68", Basalt Stone, Water, 2017
By their very nature, stone and water are opposites: fluid and ephemeral vs. heavy and solid. However, it is the combination of these two elements which make up our earth, a complimentary relationship of yin and yang. These substances also suggest the passage of time, but from different ends of the spectrum, reminding the viewer of the impermanence of all things. Each slab of rock appears to float, like a cloud made of stone, while the form and rhythm of these layers is reminiscent of a pagoda's many tiers.
The Chinese arch and basin surrounding the sculpture were preexisting, and are possibly from the Ming Dynasty. This fountain was created for the Honolulu Museum of Art School's Sketch Garden. It was made possible through the generosity of the Museum’s Sketch Garden Renovation Fund, and local stone and landscape design center Geobunga.
For this mural, I visualized the wind patterns that surround the Hawaiian Islands. Repeated lines swirl in dynamic wisps and cyclone-like formations that ripple. In this way, I depicted what is often felt and heard, but rarely seen. These visual elements, however, are not arbitrary; they are based on scientific data and winds maps of the Pacific.
The two-dimensional painted mural spans 124 feet, while the three-dimensional portion is 36 feet wide and is made from layers of 3/4" plywood.
This piece was commissioned by The Howard Hughes Corporation and managed by Ho'omaika'i, LLC. It can be seen on Kamake'e street in Ward Village in Honolulu.
Informed by Mount Fuji's topographic contour lines, a void exists within 16 sheets of Japanese paper while a small light provides a subtle, warm glow from behind. The physical form of the mountain has been removed from the paper sheets, collectively representing the atmosphere around the landform.
While this piece is inspired by a geographic landform, it also feels very corporeal, suggesting the interconnection between the microcosmic world within us and the macrocosmic world around us.
40"x6"x6", Driftwood, paint, cement, 2016
In 2013, my father and I found this piece of driftwood at Laupahoehoe Point, a beach-park near my home on the Big Island of Hawaii. When I reflect on my childhood, I see it as a collection of many fragments of time, disjointed but interconnected. A sculpture about recollection, the length of wood was divided up, segmented into "memories" It was then reattached, with the exposed portions sealed with white paint, representing the spirit of the wood seeping out through the gaps.
37"x28"6", Driftwood, Basalt, 2016
A worm-eaten piece of driftwood balances atop its carved basalt foundation. The stone base is a basalt boulder which has been reduced to a polished, geometric shape through foreign human effort. The wood, however, has been altered only by familiar natural element like salt water, sunlight, animal life and time.
Both materials have been augmented by different processes, but they have been joined together harmoniously, a pairing of foreign and familiar.
60"x84"x98", Plexiglass, LEDs, wood, 2016
Passage is monument embodying the notion of transition. its precise and deliberate lines ripple across its multi-faceted surface, sharp and angular, while the soft blue light from within radiates silence and quietude. The sculpture’s layered geometric form is reminiscent waterfall, a symbol of constant change, transition and impermanence.
216"x76"x"62, Black Bamboo, 2015
Inspired by Ikebana, or traditional Japanese flower arrangement, Ascent was constructed entirely out of lengths of bamboo. 25 pieces were configured in a diminishing sequence to create a feeling of upward motion. This piece was commissioned by the Honolulu Museum of Art School and made possible through funds from the Mayors Office of Honolulu. It was installed in Thomas Square park across from the Honolulu Museum of Art where it remained for 120 days.
Various Sizes, Basalt, 2014-2015
Named after the Japanese tradition of stone appreciation, 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' slices 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.
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. Incidentally, 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. A sheet of glass was then inserted through this opening.
A tenuous relationship now exists with these two materials, as the glass simultaneously interrupts and supports the stone.
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 stone typically ejected from volcanos. Comprised of thin but wide layers of material, the piece’s creation mimics the way that lava flowed out of this ancient shield volcano over a million years ago, as its gradual slope is reminiscent of the mountain’s silhouette.
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.
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
The piece featured in this show, Gravity, was constructed by joining structural support beams from a demolished building. Each of the segments appear to be suspended in time, defying the force which anchors them. Referring both entropy and impermanence, the sculpture was built from rubble, and it will eventually return to rubble,
12"x14"x30", Steel, 2013
Inspired by the word torsion, a 30"x36" rectangular piece of sheet metal was compressed, twisted and warped by a combination of human effort, a vice and a mallet. It was an exercise in endurance as the creative process became a performance.
Reminiscent of a tower or smokestack, the form inspires a feeling of upward progression or ascension.
26"x10"x24", Acetate and Steel, 2013
YLEM is about the relationship between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic and refers to the first water that existed on Earth--a primordial soup full of single-celled organisms.
The way we investigate macrocosmic and microcosmic space is similar. Whether through a microscope or a telescope, each displays a void or absence with bits of matter suspended in it. Each of the five images I’ve constructed exhibit this link.
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.