Jacob Hashimoto: Fractured Giants

Audio Guide

Introduction

Jacob Hashimoto: Fractured Giants

With a kite form serving as his central organizing principle, Jacob Hashimoto creates complex artworks that range from large installations to small-scale prints. Through meticulous craftsmanship, he creates abstract, layered, geometric compositions and modular constructions that reference video games, virtual environments, and cosmology. His designs are deeply rooted in art historical traditions, notably landscape-based abstraction, Minimalism, and handcraft. The artist scales microscopic imagery from the digital perspective of video games into macroscopic, stylized, gridded landscapes with repeated patterns that often reference the hard-edge style of mid-century modern Color Field paintings. The repetition of circular and hexagonal frameworks reference traditional kite forms from around the world. His drawings, prints, and paper sculptures evoke recollections of pixels and kaleidoscopes, along with fractals in nature, such as snowflakes, raindrops, clouds, and star systems.

This exhibition is a complement to the site-specific installation by Jacob Hashimoto in Boise Art Museum’s Sculpture Court, The Fractured Giant.

Organized by the Boise Art Museum
Sponsored by Bev and George Harad


About the Artist

Jacob Hashimoto was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1973 and grew up in Walla Walla, Washington. He is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Ossining, New York. Hashimoto’s artworks have been featured in museum exhibitions internationally, including at MOCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO) in Rome, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in California, Aaltonen Museum of Art in Finland, and the Crow Museum of Asian Art in Texas.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

In this abstract drawing on a faint grid, three rows of small circles at the top contain fragments of the drawing below, and include notations about sizes and quantities, suggesting that this is a plan for a larger artwork. Below the circles in the middle of the paper is an outline drawing of a horizontal rectangle with a vertical rectangle extending from the bottom middle of the horizontal rectangle. It is filled with a patchwork pattern of black-outlined rectangles and triangles of various sizes. A blue painted vertical credit-card-sized rectangle overlaps a bright pink painted square shape on the left side of the vertical patchwork rectangle.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2016

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2016
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

This plan for a larger work of art is drawn in pencil on top of a grid of vertical lines, with black, blue, white, and mustard painted elements. Light-blue, curving cloud-like outlines are layered on top of and underneath six straight black lines that intersect to create varied angles and shapes. Four narrow, vertical, dark-blue rectangles, framed by mustard lines, are drawn on top of the blue and black lines—one is centered on the right side of the paper, and three appear in the lower left quarter of the page. At the bottom of the page, there are two rows of circles with notes and numbers penciled inside.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

An abstract drawing prominently features a large, yellow, irregular geometric shape that is filled with a design of green equals-signs arranged in a diagonal alternating pattern. A large, light-blue upside-down capital L-shape filled in with blue polka-dots overlaps the yellow shape along the top, middle of the paper. In the lower third of the page are three rows of small circles containing pieces of the patterns seen in the larger shapes above. Faint notes in pencil are seen throughout.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2016

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2016
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

Two parallel bright pink lines create an outline of a spiked crown-like shape resting on top of a tall arch with a cross through its center. Underneath, numerous, small, dark-blue circles containing yellow stars are bunched in the upper left corner and along the middle of the right edge. A meandering path of circles in various colorful patterns is shown diagonally from the upper left to the lower right. Four medium-sized circles in dark colors appear in the foreground. Circles containing fragments of the overall drawing appear in the margins with notations about sizes and quantities, suggesting that this is a plan for a larger artwork.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

This plan for a larger artwork is roughly sketched in pencil on a hand-drawn grid of vertical lines. The outline of an abstract, angular shape is centered on the grid and filled with small, imperfect circles. In the margins, larger circles containing dark block shapes surround the right, left, and top of the grid. A column with multiple rows of numbers is written near each circle.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

Hundreds of ovals are drawn on a grid of vertical lines connected to upper and lower bracket shapes in this plan for a larger work of art. Sparse areas of blue acrylic paint in the upper half of the grid suggest sky peeking through clouds. A series of short, diagonal black lines appear through the center, and the lower portion contains groupings of bright floral patterns, green grass imagery, and light blue waves. Larger ovals and circles appear in a column to the left and contain close-up views of the patterns and imagery seen in the grid. Handwritten notes about sizes and quantities are written next to each shape.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

This plan for a larger work of art is drawn on a grid of vertical lines connected to upper and lower bracket shapes. Several overlapping triangles in shades of green give the impression of a mountain landscape in the background. The mountains are partially hidden on the lower and right sides by a large, organic, yellow mass bordered by red, twisted lines that look like flames. A yellow circle surrounded by flames appears off-center in the upper half of the grid. Larger circles, matching the colors and patterns in the grid, line the left and bottom margins.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

This pencil and acrylic paint drawing is divided into six equally sized, vertical rectangles in two rows. Each has vertical gridlines and a unique, blue-and-white, simple, geometric design. Small circles around the perimeter contain partial views of the larger designs and include notations about sizes and quantities, suggesting that this is a plan for a larger artwork or series of artworks.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2013

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2013
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

A single light blue line creates the jagged outline of dozens of wavy downward pointed spikes, resembling icicles, across the top of a pencil and acrylic paint drawing. The icicle shapes are equally spaced along a grid of vertical lines in the background and extend down a third of the grid’s height. In the lower portion, light blue parallel lines trace a connected grid of horizontal and vertical lines. A trail of faintly patterned circles moves diagonally from the middle of the left edge to the lower right. In the left margin are circles containing details from the drawing along with handwritten notes.

Jacob Hashimoto, The Hashimoto Index I

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

The Hashimoto Index I, 2017
96 woodblock prints on Igarashi Kozo 450g
edition of 19
Courtesy of the artist

96 small, colorful, framed square papers with circle-shaped wood-block prints in white square frames hang in a large grid on the wall. Each circle has a thin brown border and two brown lines that extend beyond the circle to form an X through its center. The circles are filled with vibrant geometric patterns and flattened imagery, including flowers, grass, stars, and checkerboards. Each design within the circles is unique.

Artist Quote

 

“I grew up in the American West and feel a close tie to the environment and nature.” 

-Jacob Hashimoto  

 

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2012

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2012
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

At the top of the paper in this pencil and acrylic paint plan for a larger artwork, there is a series of small circles at the top of the paper that contain fragments of the drawing below, alongside notations of sizes and quantities. The bottom three-quarters of the paper contains an outline of a square divided into multiple, interlocking shapes. A grey rectangle fills the upper left corner of the shape, and a smaller black triangle slightly overlaps its lower edge. A large, irregular geometric red shape adjoins both and takes up most of the center, with straight, thick extensions that touch all four sides of the drawn square border. A diagonal black line and a small yellow triangle appear along the right side and connect to the red shape.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2012

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2012
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

A large square-outline drawn in pencil contains a sketch of an artwork plan. The right side of the square is mostly paper, and the left side is made up of irregular, interlocking geometric shapes in yellow, light green, gray, and black, as well as one triangle filled with multi-colored, scribbled circles. The black shape begins near the center of the square, with a thick, straight line extending diagonally to the lower right corner. At the top are unevenly spaced circles filled with the same colors as the drawing below, with numbers and color names written in pencil near each circle.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2012

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2012
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

This plan for a larger work of art is drawn and painted inside a square border which is divided in half diagonally from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. Hand-written numbers appear throughout the paper, including on top of the painted areas. The top right half contains mostly pencil marks with a thick, black, vertical line near the center and a triangle filled with multi-colored scribbled circles and the words “full color collage” in the lower right corner. The lower left half is divided into four large geometric shapes, solidly filled with color in red, black, yellow, and grey. Small multi-colored circles are drawn around the outside of the border.

Artist Quote

 

“My work has always used nature and landscape to explore themes of abstraction and design.”

-Jacob Hashimoto  

 

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2012

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2012
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

A large square outline drawn in pencil contains a sketch of an artwork plan. A large, irregular geometric, black shape completely fills the lower left corner and has two thin rectangles, one on each side, extending diagonally toward the upper right. A tall blue rectangle appears right-of-center with a smaller grey square to its right, with tops aligned. In the background, sketches of small circles, some patterned, spread horizontally across the square. Three columns of circles at the top of the page contain details from the overall drawing along with handwritten notes.

Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2012

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Untitled, 2012
pencil and acrylic on paper
Courtesy of the artist

In this pencil and acrylic paint plan for a larger artwork, a geometric, abstract shape, filled with red polka-dots on a white background, covers most of the bottom three-quarters of the paper. The lower left side of the shape slants down and right at a 45-degree diagonal. To the left of the diagonal edge is a smaller black geometric shape. Below the black shape is a yellow square. Along the top of the plan are three rows of circles filled with patterns and colors that match the overall drawing, with notations about sizes and quantities.

Jacob Hashimoto, The Necessary Invention of the Mind I – XII

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, I, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, II, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, III, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, IV, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, V, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, VI, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, VII, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, VIII, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, IX, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, X, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, XI, 2020

The Necessary Invention of the Mind, XII, 2020

woodblock and screenprint on Fuji DHM-11 Kozo Misumi, white 430gsm, edition of 37
Courtesy of the artist

Jacob Hashimoto, The Hashimoto Index II

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

The Hashimoto Index II, 2018
96 woodblock prints on Igarashi Kozo 450g
edition of 19
Courtesy of the artist

96 small, colorful, framed square papers with circle-shaped wood-block prints in white square frames hang in a large grid on the wall. Each circle has a thin brown border and two brown lines that extend beyond the circle to form an X through its center. The circles are filled with vibrant geometric patterns and flattened imagery, such as zigzags, plaids, and dots as well as water droplets and waves. Each design within the circles is unique.

Video – Meet a Minecrafter: Jacob Hashimoto

Meet a Minecrafter: Jacob Hashimoto
Minecraft, 2020
Video – 6:30 minutes

 

Artist Quote

 

“The kite embodies a sense of play but also hubris, adventure, nostalgia, youth, tradition, and simplicity.”

-Jacob Hashimoto  

 

About the Artist’s Use of Kites

Born to American parents of Japanese and Irish descent, Jacob Hashimoto began making kites as an art student after he hit a creative block. His father suggested making kites to keep his ideas moving. Hashimoto’s grandfather had built kites, and his father also built and flew kites out his office window when the family lived in Idaho, so kites resonated with the artist. Without one clear origin story, and many myths and legends of this traditional toy across cultures, the artist saw the kite as a democratic and approachable entry point to his artwork. The kite form has since become the central organizing principle of his artworks. For his large-scale installations, he and his assistants painstakingly construct thousands of tiny, delicate kites, using Japanese paper, pigment, and bamboo, and then carefully thread the kites onto strings. Each site-specific installation becomes Hashimoto’s uniquely imagined environment, making us feel as if we have been immersed within an expression of light, atmosphere, and infinity, within the enclosed space.

Jacob Hashimoto, Tracing the Ever-fragile Balance of Dreamless Silence: This Unruly Forest, These Imaginings, and the Final Exhalation

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Tracing the Ever-fragile Balance of Dreamless Silence: This Unruly Forest, These Imaginings, and the Final Exhalation, 2019

Mixografia® print on handmade paper and archival pigment print, artist proof
Courtesy of the artist

In this print, a wide, rectangular frame resembling brown packing tape surrounds an off-white background covered with small holes and dozens of black screwheads. Thin, tangled black string is draped from the screwheads along the top edge and center. The string is densely coiled around some of the screws, forming dark drooping circles. Several small, circular, kite-like objects, no bigger than a circle you can make with your thumb and pointer finger, appear in the foreground—multi-colored, patterned circles are clustered near the center, and a column of 4 black circles with yellow vertical stripes covers one-third of the lower left edge.

Jacob Hashimoto, All These Burnt Out Comets, Unwound Ciphers, and the Dark Span of Madness

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

All These Burnt Out Comets, Unwound Ciphers, and the Dark Span of Madness, 2019

Mixografia® print on handmade paper and archival pigment print, artist proof
Courtesy of the artist

In this print, several black screwheads are embedded in the distressed, off-white background, which is printed to appear as if it is framed by brown tape. In the lower right corner is a cluster of circular, kite-like objects of varying sizes, no bigger than your hand. They are covered in imagery including blue-and-white clouds and green blades of grass. Near the artwork’s center is a diagonal chain of small, red-and-black patterned circles. The kite-like objects are all connected and hanging by black string that is suspended up and then left, stretched between screwheads. On the left, the string becomes a tangled mass and is densely coiled around some of the screws, forming dark drooping circles.

Jacob Hashimoto, Prying into the Secrets of the Sky

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Prying into the Secrets of the Sky, 2015
paper, bamboo, acrylic, wood, and Dacron
Courtesy of the artist

A 4-foot square wall sculpture is made up of several columns, rows, and layers of kite-like, circular objects, vertically strung together between two sets of dowels. The columns, rows, and layers of circles work together like pieces of a three-dimensional puzzle to complete a unified, abstract image. The overall abstract composition is divided vertically by a thin white line, with green on the left and golden yellow on the right. Large geometric shapes in the middle are pale yellow on the left and pale green on the right with two wedge shapes intersecting the two sides horizontally from the center, like clock hands, pointing in opposite directions. The larger, left one is yellow-green with a horizonal red dashed line. The smaller, right one is purple with some red patterns added.

Jacob Hashimoto, The Slipping Orbit of the World

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

The Slipping Orbit of the World, 2020
acrylic, bamboo, paper, wood, and Dacron
Courtesy of the artist

In this small, 3-foot high, vertical wall sculpture, three columns of circular kite-like objects are suspended between two sets of wooden dowels with black string. The circles are attached in several layers on the dowels to create a three-dimensional artwork. The largest circles, about the size of your open hand, appear in the back, with the smallest in front. The circles have a variety of bright, vertically striped patterns that emphasize the sculpture’s narrow, vertical shape.

Jacob Hashimoto, A Kind of Forgotten Fugitive Destiny

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

A Kind of Forgotten Fugitive Destiny, 2020
acrylic, bamboo, paper, wood, and Dacron
Courtesy of the artist

In this small, 3-foot high, vertical wall sculpture, three columns of circular kite-like objects, ranging in size from as big as your open hand to as small as a circle made by connecting your thumb and pointer finger, are vertically suspended between two sets of wooden dowels with black string. The circles contain a variety of colorful geometric and organic patterns. Most of the circles in the upper half of the sculpture have overlapping scalloped lines, resembling brightly colored, hand-drawn fish scales.

Jacob Hashimoto, Neutron Star

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Neutron Star, 2015
paper, wood, acrylic, bamboo, and Dacron
Courtesy of the artist

A 5-foot square wall sculpture is made up of several columns, rows, and layers of kite-like, circular objects, vertically strung together between two sets of dowels. The columns, rows, and layers of circles work together like pieces of a three-dimensional puzzle to complete a unified image of a mostly white artwork with four crisp black lines that intersect in the middle, like spokes on a wheel, dividing the artwork into eighths. Patterned circles in black, white, and grey, create an undulating design across the lower half of the artwork.

Jacob Hashimoto, Another Cautionary Tale Comes to Mind (but immediately vanishes)

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Another Cautionary Tale Comes to Mind (but immediately vanishes), 2016
Mixografia® print on handmade paper and archival pigment print with push pins, artist proof
Courtesy of the artist

In this collage, numerous circular and hexagonal kite-like objects are layered in an overlapping arrangement against a distressed wood background. While some shapes are solid white, black, or dark blue in color, others contain geometric or organic patterns in contrasting-color-combinations such as red-and-white or black-and-white. A web of black string connects the objects and is held in place by several clear thumbtacks that are intermittently pressed into the background.

Jacob Hashimoto, Far Nearer the End of Things, Far Below These Meditations on Time and Death, We Rest Unmapped Tangled in Darkness

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

Far Nearer the End of Things, Far Below These Meditations on Time and Death, We Rest Unmapped Tangled in Darkness, 2019
Mixografia® print on handmade paper and archival pigment print, artist proof
Courtesy of the artist

In this print, a wide, rectangular frame resembling brown packing tape surrounds an off-white background covered with small holes and several black screwheads. Thirteen circular kite-like shapes, no larger than a circle you can make by placing your thumb and pointer finger together, are clustered in the lower-right corner. Some are white, while others are covered in bright patterns. They are connected by several strands of black string that continue upward and left into a dense tangle, with some loosely wrapped around screwheads near the top edge of the artwork.

Jacob Hashimoto: The Fractured Giant

 

Organized by the Boise Art Museum
Sponsored by Bev and George Harad

 

Audio Recording

Jacob Hashimoto
(American, born 1973)

The Fractured Giant, 2023
paper, bamboo, acrylic, cotton thread, stainless steel wire, and wood
Courtesy of the artist

Twenty-thousand circular and square kite-like paper and bamboo objects hang in countless layers and rows across the high arched ceiling of a long room, with their flat surfaces all facing the main entryway to the room. They are attached with black string to hang at varying heights in the space, with one cluster nearly touching the ground in the back left corner of the room. Some are covered in solid colors including blue, red, yellow, light green, black, and white, while others are covered in vibrant geometric and organic patterns and imagery, such as flowers, stars, polka dots, and checkerboards. Most of the circular objects are white and arranged in large groupings, giving the impression of cloud formations. As you move around and underneath the layers of this room-size installation, the artwork’s appearance changes depending on where you stand in relation to it.

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