Top image: Automatic Writing by Hana Sakuma

Hana Sakuma

Hana Sakuma (Japan)

Hana Sakuma successfully applied to Art Gene’s Residency Programme through open submission. At the time she was in the final stages of writing her PhD dissertation at Chelsea College of Fine Art, London and has since returned to live in Kobe, Japan. The selection panel were impressed by Hana’s sculptural and installation works and were curious to see how she would respond to a period of research at Art Gene.

During her residency Hana spent many long hours, on long tables writing seemingly endless Kanji characters with a brush on long rolls of paper.

Automatic writing, yes, but automatic installations too as the studio became strewn will rejected texts; unconscious thoughts locked up in paper balls…We are yet to receive a translation.


Art Gene Residency

During her residency Hana will explore the possibility of finding new ways of engaging with language through installation and performance. More specifically Hana will create a new body of work based on her experience using English as a second language in her daily life in Britain, as Hana is intrigued by what a second language can contribute to art-making. In this work, objects, video, writing and speaking will be developed during this residency programme.

Hana was born in Osaka, Japan.

Hana was born in Osaka, Japan Following her graduation in 1993 from Kobe Design University, Japan with a B.A. in Fashion and Textiles, Hana went onto gain a Post-Graduate Diploma in Textiles from Goldsmiths’ College, London. Continuing her studies in 1997 Hana gained a Master of Fine Art in Sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art (UCL), London and in June 2006 she completed a Practice-based PhD at Chelsea College of Fine Art and Design.

Since her first solo exhibition, First Solo Show, Alternative Art Gallery, London 1996, Hana has shown her work extensively, her most recent solo exhibition entitled Hana Sakuma was exhibited at Seven Seven Contemporary Art, London, 2006. Previous exhibitions include 100 Books Which I Didn’t BuyUnit 2. London, 2005. Hana Sakura, Inverness, Scotland, 2002, From the Middle Through the Middle, The Changing Room, Stirling, Scotland. Hana Sakura, Kojimachi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2000. Hana has also exhibited both nationally and internationally in selected group exhibitions.


Image above: Automatic Writing by Hana Sakuma


Since her first solo exhibition First Solo Show in London in 1996, Hana has shown extensively in Scotland, London, Japan and several other cities across the world. She has also exhibited both nationally and internationally in selected group exhibitions.

During her residency at Art Gene Hana explored the possibility of finding new ways to engage with language through installation and performance. More specifically, Hana created a new body of work based on her experience of using English as a second language in her daily life.

HIJMS Mikasa; built and launched from Barrow shipyard in 1900, is the worlds only surviving pre-dreadnought battle ship (now a museum in Yokosuka, Japan): Admiral Togo’s flagship at the Battle of Tsushima (1905), in which the Japanese annihilated the Russian combined fleets. Undercutting then-accepted theories of eugenics and white racial supremacy used to justify imperialism and racial oppression, and heralded Japan’s ascendancy as a world power.

Because of her pivotal role in a decisive point in Japan’s emergence on the world stage, Mikasa holds a position in Japanese history analogous to that of HMS Victory in British national consciousness.

Mikasa Street is one of many streets on Walney Island, Barrow named after illustrious ships built for countries across the world and the UK including Powerful Street and Vengeance Street. Mikasa Street is a popular haunt for Japanese visitors to the town and unsurprisingly attracted Sakuma’s attention.

Extract from Stuart Bastik’s Seldom Seen Series of Maps: Islands of Barrow


External links
Axis Web
Mikasa, Wikipedia

Image below: still from Video Work, Mikasa Street, Barrow, by Hana Sakuma

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