A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Niizeki, Hiromi

Other Names: ニイゼキヒロミ

Artist Website
Female
Japanese American, Asian American

"I view my installations as my voice, commenting on the way our society may show different emotions and the indifference to abandoning objects; casting items away and transferring them into 'junk'. My installations deal with these castaway everyday objects, such as supermarket flyers, tabloid newspapers, junk mail, wire hangers, cardboard and more. I transform the junk objects into art installations that may make the viewer feel happy, active or give them the opportunity to fanaticize about living and interacting in this strange environment created through the installation. The idea of using found urban objects, literally from trash cans at times, allows me to transcend the ideas of junk and transform it into new shapes and objects existing in unexpected contexts. Or reusing useful castaway such as twine, towel hooks, chicken wire, old pulleys and hangers.

"Objects that our society discards are given no identity other than trash. As art these materials are given a created identity. One of my recent installations involved the pulping of my own junk mail. The balls that where created [were] used in an interactive installation. Over 500 of these junk mail balls where on the floor of the gallery and the audience had to kick the balls upon entering the space in order to view the other works in the exhibition. The element of mystery existed since objects [were] hidden behind a six foot square junk mail 'sheet.' This 'sheet' was suspended from the gallery ceiling and to view the opposite side of the 'sheet' and objects behind it, the viewer had to fully enter the gallery. Another interactive installation was at the Clocktower. Supermarket flyers transformed the space into a three story installation which again the viewer could interact with. Transformation of junk to art allows me to accept junk and literally recreate it to a level that an audience can accept and translate it as something else, ie: object, art, unusual, recycled etc. Colorful tabloid newspapers and supermarket interest me as they create a reality by using photo reproduction of 'what's on sale this week.' By collaging and pulping these images, a false or translated reality is created, translating the images into perhaps an unreadable yet recognizable collage, or perhaps displacing the flyer's original intent by collaging it on a twelve foot ladder."

Hiromi Niizeki, Artist Statement, July 18, 1998

Gallery of Selected Works