If you’re ever one to wander around with a feeling of having your head in the clouds, pop along to Jacob Hashimoto’s current exhibition at Ronchini Gallery. Walking in from the rainy street is like floating up to the less water-sodden cumulus above. Immediately, you are surrounded by suspended rice paper kites, some oval white ones just about head height; others, bluer, dangling aloft. Projecting below is a mass of yellow hexagons, like rays of sunlight bursting through and vanquishing the downpour. The effect is enchanting and uplifting, intimate, almost verging on twee, but too beautifully crafted for that.
Hashimoto (born 1973, Colorado) uses traditional kite making techniques to stretch the coloured paper across bamboo frames. These are then strung together and suspended from parallel dowels, creating site-specific installations into which the audience is swept up. Foot lights shining up from the floor at the front of the gallery cause shadows and haloes to cascade around you. In one corner, the kites are heavily patterned: discs with dots and squares and circles of all different colours and sizes, capturing, perhaps, the blurred visions you might experience after staring at the sun for too long.
The temptation to linger and bask in the sunlight is hard to resist, and daydreams flow freely in this space. No matter in what state you arrived, you will certainly leave the gallery in a reverie, with your head truly up there amongst the clouds.
Image Credit: Jacob Hashimoto, The Other Sun, bamboo, paper, dacron, acrylic, cotton thread, courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery. Photo Michele Sereni