Divine Contortions

The title of this series is a play on words with the Divine Proportion, which is another term for the Golden Mean, the Golden Ratio, Phi… But regardless of its name, it is the mathematical representation of beauty. Essentially it is a ratio/proportion that exists in nature. You see this most often in spirals that occur in plants and wildlife: Shells, flowers, ferns, etc. But it also exists within architecture, works of art and music. It’s something I’ve been obsessed with for as long as I can remember. And it’s something that is at the core of just about everything I do. The foundation upon which almost every one of my bodies of work is built. For me, it represents effortless equilibrium. Illuminating order in a seemingly chaotic system.

This body of work really began with an obsession with patterns… In particular, the asian patterns and motifs I was regularly exposed to as a hapa haole child (Hawaiian term for half asian half white) raised by a Chinese mother. At first, the motifs found their way into my sketchbooks and as small textural elements in my paintings. But somewhere around 2005 these motifs slowly came into the forefront, eventually becoming the focal point and finally the solitary subjects of the work. Although these are technically abstract, they still feel figurative to me. As if they are imaginary creatures each with a life and personality of its own.

Gradually, this work has gotten larger and larger. The latest addition to the series is painted on a building 100 feet long and 12 feet high at the Autumn Lane Estate. Below is a small video preview of the drawing I created for the installation.

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