Ryan Takaba

Artist Statement

Growing up in Hawai`i, I spent much of my childhood observing my grandparent’s attentiveness to their landscape, a residence built upon ancient lava rock. My memory of this place holds a mythology of its own, a vast landscape imbued with beauty and power, but in reality, it was a humble garden outside a 1940’s bungalow. When my grandfather passed, my grandmother tended to a smaller garden and visited him every morning through daily prayer. A prayer involving lighting a candle, burning incense, and arranging fresh flowers.

My studio practice stems from my research in landscape, architecture, and design looking to my grandmother as a source to investigate how objects are used, cared for, and honored. I am interested in the arrangement of these objects, and through their use, meaning and the composition can change over time. My practice is performative and durational, attending to the pieces daily through the length of a show. In some works, I cut, assemble, and connect flowers to complete a composition, and sort stem sizes to regulate its flow of water. I light candles to use heat to break wax patterns, and I burn incense to mark the wall and cascade ash. This act engages themes of longing, waiting, and return.

-- Ryan Takaba

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