W D Hammond

Japan 3, 4, 5

Japan 3, 4, 5 by W D Hammond

Artwork Detail

W. D. Hammond is a world-maker, who creates a technological future-city with its own cast of characters. He often paints on found-surfaces and Japan 3, 4, 5 is painted on the back of a large metal sign. Hammond accepts the weathering of these recycled supports, which range from tents to tea-trays, as a contribution to his work. Prior to becoming a painter he made neon advertising signs and later designed and made wooden toys. He is also a musician and usually paints to the sound of rock music, 'turned up really loud'; rock music lyrics often appear in the titles of his paintings. Here calm traditional Japanese cultural images including Noh theatre masks and cherry blossom are contrasted with contemporary Manga comic imagery and liquid crystal display graphics. While the three sections of the work could represent a narrative, they could equally be the successive screens of an video-arcade game. There is a sense of hyperactivity as figures rush across the picture plane, as well as a neurotic quality suggested by the flattened and contradictory perspectives and spatial ambiguities between figure and ground. These confuse the eye and unsettle the mind and any visual naïvety or 'bad drawing' is intentional. There is a tense calligraphic elegance in the spiky lines and a general jittery unease in this particular 'Hammondland'. (from The Guide, 2001)

Japan 3, 4, 5
W D Hammond
Production date
oil on steel
2140 x 1220 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1992
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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