Made in L.A 2016

Now through Aug 28, the Hammer Museum is exhibiting their biennial Made in L.A. series. This year exhibition features various artists from various backgrounds but had created art inspired by Los Angeles. This iteration reflects the diversity of LA’s population and its significance in the local art scene. Amongs various art works featured at the exhibition, there are two pieces I found most interesting.

The first piece is from Kenzi Shiokava, a Los Angeles based sculptor. He was born in Japan but born Japanese. The cultural diversity is often reflected in his art. In this specific piece, the plants, doll heads and toy figures are all influenced by his Japanese roots as well as his time spent in Brazil and America. It is unknown how Shiokava obtained the material for this piece, I’d like to think the piece was a collection from his own childhood assembled to reflect who he is now.

The second artist is Arthur Jafa, filmmaker and writer focused on black culture. This piece consists of more than 200 binders of publications from all news outlets about black culture around the globe. It was simply a collection by Jafa from 1990 to 2007 and never intended to be art (and still insisted by Jafa). The collection is an extensive documentary of black culture, forming a visual hypothesis of construction subjectivity, and what Jafa has theorized as a decidedly black aesthetic.

Even though their respective culture and heritage are the center of their art works, Shiokava came about with a more personal approach by showing how he viewed his culture. On the other hand, Jafa collection featured his culture through publishing means.

Anyways, these are my favourite works featured in this excellent exhibition. I hope everyone gets a chance to see these talented local artists. The exhibition is free and lasts until Aug 28.


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