Tomorrow, Andrew Hem’s joint show (teased) with Stella Im Hultberg opens at Roq La Rue gallery in Seattle. His new body of work features imagery from his past experiences including the magnificent cathedrals seen on a trip to Europe as well as the emotions he witnessed in the children he has seen on his travels struggling to fit into a culture in which they are not familiar with. He took time to answer some questions about his new show among other things… Read about this as well as take a look at some preview images after the jump.
Arrested Motion (AM): Can you tell us a little about this new body of work for Roq La Rue? Any themes or underlying messages?
Andrew Hem (AH): The theme for my Roq show is basically culture clash. I’ve been lucky enough to stay with family in Europe who have adopted children outside there country and watch them adapt to a new culture. I wanted to show the struggle it takes to fit in. The feeling of being an outcast, of them trying to find there paths, trying to blend in, and trying to embrace there new culture. Taking a look at this video and this one may give you a better sense of the show.
AM: You recently came back from a trip to Asia. Did you have any experiences or see anything that will be an inspiration for you next body of work?
AH: It’s really sad to see family raise their children to beg in Cambodia. Even though school is free, a big percentage of parents rather have them beg for money instead. They figured that children can get 50 cents a day, so they force them out on the streets. It’s really heartbreaking to see because they are literally everywhere. I’ve been to other third world countries before, but Cambodia is the only place I’ve been where kids would follow you for miles. I think my next body of work will be about how parents deny their kids their full potential.
AM: We know you have some roots in graffiti and still “get up” on occasion. How would you compare your street art experiences with gallery work?
AH: I had the funniest time of my life in graffiti. I think the fact that you’re painting with your friends makes it become some sort of activity, like a midnight sport where you knock down art and exercise with one stone. Gallery work on the other hand works best when I paint alone. I just get more work done when nobody is around. I just sit all day and eat while painting. Getting no exercise done at all. That’s why I recently enrolled in Bally’s.
AM: Can you tell us about any other projects or shows you have planned for 2009?
AH: I have group shows here and there, but I should be more worried about getting good. I think I’m just going to spend my time upping my skills and going back to drawing and painting workshops. Maybe even going plein air painting.
AM: Thanks for the interview Andrew. Good luck with the show.