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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Miya Hannan: Circularity

The end is the Beginning of the New, 2007
Mixed media on Japanese Paper and Cheese Cloth, each panel 12 x 2 x 2 feet
Shoots, 2007, Paper-mache, Cheese Cloth, Bone Ash, 5-60 x 8 x 8"
Axis, 2007, Bone ash, Porcelain, each pile 5 x 8 x 8"

Friday night. After a day of hiking I still want to go to La Jolla, to the opening of “Circularity” at R.B. Stevenson Gallery.

I always like to go to R.B. Stevenson’s openings; usually I have a good surprise there. I am very interested in discovering Miya Hannan’s work. I enter the gallery and I am immediately attracted by a large installation which takes up the whole opposite corner of the space. Long translucent pieces of paper -- painted and/or printed -- hang from the ceiling. At the bottom of each of them is what seems like the rolled part of the piece, very dark. On the white floor of the gallery, surrounded by the long pieces of paper are white structures and small piles of a white powder. The whole piece feels delicate and light, yet powerful. It is very white and translucent, yet dark. When I get closer I can see that the black parts at the bottom are wrapped in black, painted fabric. Each small pile is topped with what I identify as a vertebra. Then someone comes and explains to me that the little piles are made with bone ash and the whole piece talks about the cycle of life.

Now I look around to discover the other pieces, all of them on the walls, almost none of them framed. All of the pieces are beautifully crafted. It seems to be a mix of drawing, printmaking and painting. I like how the artist proceeds with layers, which works very well with the Japanese paper. The light plays nicely through the paper and everything seem to flow in these large compositions. It is so nice to see this work. Miya Hannan is here and I tell her how I am enjoying the moment and how much her work touches me. She is really nice and attentive. She explains to me how Frances McCormack, her former teacher, introduced her to R.B. Stevenson Gallery and how thrilled she is to have her work shown here. Also she tells me she was a radiologist in Japan - which may explain the references in her work to the inside of the body (drawings of organs, prints of vertebrae…).

Miya Hannan next to Evolutionary Momentum,
mixed media on japanese paper, bone ash, 110x120x12, 2007

I take a picture of Miya Hannan next to “Evolutionary Momentum”, one of my favorite pieces (but I like them all!). At the bottom of the piece there are four small piles of bone ash.

I understand that all of the pieces talk about the circle of life and death but there is nothing sad here. There is no fear. Life and death flow together in these complicated yet calm large pieces of work. There is a real pleasure to look at the work from a distance and then to come closer and discover the quality of each element.

Seeing the work of Miya Hannan tonight after hiking all day on the beach: what an amazing gift!

R.B. Stevenson Gallery
7661 Girard Avenue, Suite 201
La Jolla, California 92037

1 comment:

Mélanie said...

as we could say , après l'effort , le réconfort !