Interview with Huntz Liu for ‘Strata’

Thinkspace Projects presents Huntz Liu’s latest solo exhibition, ‘Strata.’  

The exhibition features his signature techniques of cutting and layering paper, where he crafts a collection of work that explores depth in a striking way. Each composition is comprised of meticulously cut shapes on different planes, reveling in both the layering of material and the absence of material. By embracing negative space, Liu creates line and shadow, building an image that is so much more than each of its individual parts. The compositions strive for a perfect balance, embracing the chaos of the shapes and colors. As Liu describes it, “this is a reflection of the perfect sphere we live upon and the chaos of the layers confined within.”

In anticipation of ‘Strata,” our interview with Huntz Liu explores our relationship with space, the perspective gained from cataloging art books at the Getty Research center and letting go of perfectionism.

What techniques or themes were you exploring in this latest body of work?

The idea of distance and space was in the forefront of my mind during the pandemic and is a theme present in this new body of work. I was interested in the different scales of distance constantly present – be it the personal, interpersonal, geographical, galactical, etc. This is sort of illustrated in the Eames’ “Powers of Ten” short film, but additionally, I like how the space a distance occupies is its own layer that can have its own distance from others. (e.g. The Pacific Ocean is the space and distance between Asia and North America, but North America is the space and distance between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.)

Where did the inspiration for the title of the show come from? 

It is related to the prior answer but more focused on the layers (or strata) present within our cities and countries and planet. “Strata” is also the word for “loss” in Polish, which seems appropriate for this past year and right now.

You’ve shared that you source a lot of inspiration from architecture and interior spaces. Do you have any favorite buildings or architectural spaces?

I believe I answered the Salk Institute and the Getty Center last time… which still hold true. But more generally, I love big, expansive, monumental spaces. 

Do you have any rituals that help you tap into creative flow? How do you structure your time and days while preparing for an exhibition?

Just a morning coffee. And afternoon coffee. And sometimes an evening coffee. And work breaks dispersed in between. haha

The time you spent at the Getty Research Institute helped provide a second education and define your work, what is one of the lasting lessons you learned from that experience?

I saw a lot of work and artist books in their special collections’ vaults, which made me realize the breadth and range of art that has been, is, and will be created. And that however disheartening and challenging it is to find your own voice and make your own space, there is a lightness and freedom in being just a singular artist making work in a singular time. 

You did some international travel during the pandemic. Can you share a bit about the experience? How did you pass the time during the quarantine period?

Yeah, I did have the privilege, as a dual-citizen, to travel to Taiwan (where it was largely free of Covid) for some months toward the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. It was a nice respite from the madness taking place in the US, and gave me some breathing room to focus on work.

How many Exacto blades do you go through in one piece? What is your favorite paper brand, weight?

It varies, but anywhere from a couple to a dozen. I use many different brands of paper and weights, but I like Strathmore bristol paper and some Mohawk lines.

The precision in your work is mesmerizing, would you consider yourself a perfectionist? If so, how has perfectionism helped you? How has it possibly hindered you, and do you have any advice for other perfectionists? 

Being a perfectionist was something I would refer to myself as when I was younger. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I feel that the label and the practice of being perfect is sort of just loaded and unrealistic. You have to let go at some point because the space between precise and perfect is infinite.

What is one of your most memorable meals, it could be the people or the food? 

More recently, it was having brunch at Zinc Cafe in Arts District, March of 2020, right on the cusp of shutdown… wondering if it was a good idea and also not realizing it would be the last time dining in for a long long while. I would have tried to enjoy it more in hindsight.

If cost and time were not an issue, what would be a dream project for you?

I would love to build my work at a huge scale, horizontally into the ground. Like Noguchi’s playgrounds.

Are your hands callous from accidental paper cuts yet?  

Surprisingly, no!

Who are the last three musical artists you listened to? Or the last podcast episode you recommended to someone

On a Britpop bender these days: Suede, Longpigs, Pulp 

‘Strata’ – Solo Exhibition from Huntz Liu | August 14 – September 4 at Thinkspace

Thinkspace Projects is pleased to present Huntz Liu’s latest solo show, ‘Strata.’

Using his signature techniques of cutting and layering paper, Liu crafts a collection of work that explores depth in a striking way. Known for using a straightedge and knife to craft his compositions, Liu has taken his study of perception to new heights with ‘Strata.’

“My work deals with the layering and removal of material. It presents a visual language that unflattens two-dimensional forms and gives weight to line and edge.”

Each composition is comprised of meticulously cut shapes on different planes, reveling in both the layering of material and the absence of material. By embracing negative space, Liu creates line and shadow, building an image that is so much more than each of its individual parts. The compositions strive for a perfect balance, embracing the chaos of the shapes and colors. As Liu describes it, “this is a reflection of the perfect sphere we live upon and the chaos of the layers confined within.”

The artist adds “Underlying every piece is the method and medium of hand-cut paper. There is a calm in this process, with its forced tedium + slow/heavy time consumption, that allows me to live in and about the work. Every shape and color, every corner and edge, I was there for. There is no escaping it and, ultimately, there are no shortcuts.”

‘Strata’ opens August 14, 2021 with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM. On view until September 4, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.

About Huntz Liu
Huntz Liu (b. 1981) is a Taiwanese-American artist who works primarily with cut and layered paper. He lives and works in Los Angeles, where he grew up, crafting layered pieces that serve as a study on shape and color. With a straight edge and knife, Huntz Liu cuts and layers paper to expose geometric/abstract compositions, creating work at the intersection of literal depth and perceived depth. It is in this intersection that Liu thrives, allowing the contrast to inform his work.

‘Scorch and Drop’ – Debut U.S. solo show from Alex Face | August 14 – September 4 at Thinkspace

Alex Face – ’Scorch and Drop’
August 14 – September 4, 2021
Opening Night August 14th | Saturday, 6PM- 9PM

Thinkspace Projects presents Alex Face’s debut U.S. solo show, ‘Scorch and Drop’, following successful solo exhibitions in Bangkok, Thailand and Venice, Italy. This brand new collection of work Face’s newest work incorporates the character Alex Face has become known for, exploring new situations and elements, introducing the variety within his work to a new audience. 

His signature subject, a quizzical smoking baby that shares a moniker with the artist himself, can be seen contemplating the future. With a worried look spread across its face, this baby turns an eye to the world around it, an extension of Alex Face’s identity as an artist with a social conscience.

The character was inspired by the birth of the artist’s daughter, “The first time I saw her she looked angry or worried, I thought, are you not happy to be my daughter? Are you not happy to be in the world?”

Ultimately, this moment became the catalyst for the character he is widely known for. The baby, with its third eye to represent another dimension beyond what we can plainly see, takes on new situations and future possibilities in this new collection of work.

‘Scorch and Drop’ opens August 14, 2021 with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM. On view until September 4, 2021 at Thinkspace Projects.

About Alex Face
Patcharapol Tangruen, also known as Alex Face, is a well-known and influential graffiti artist in Thailand. Alex studied architecture at Bangkok’s King Mongkut Institute of Technology. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the Department of Fine & Applied Arts. An interest in architecture led Alex Face to explore and wander the streets and alleys of Bangkok for abandoned buildings, buildings that he eventually used as a canvas to develop his street art and express himself. He then created Alex Face, a character with an aged, disillusioned child’s face wearing animal costumes. Through his graffiti, Alex Face especially attempts to create a link with the urban population, the underprivileged of Bangkok and the provinces.

Artist Statement
แผดเผา ลุกโชน มอดดับ

Fire burning on the wings of hope
fragile petals on our heads,
glowing and blazing
we’re at the peak of our blissful life,
moving the thinnest part of our own body,
fluttering, aware of power and weakness
we scorch and drop,
as fire slowly burns our body and soul
we try our best
and most things appeared as they should
we’re on fire!!!
growing exponentially, moving freely
expressing our vision, angriness, kindness,
love and hate
we are shining and moving with power
until everything turns dark,
and another kind of creature
children of ours
will appear with their new light of day
yeah, we scorch and drop as we should

New Yosuke Ueno Prints Available Friday, July 30

Excited to share this new series of limited edition prints from Yosuke Ueno (b. 1977 Japan) that showcase three of his more popular works that were included in his solo exhibition ‘Majestic Parade’ at the Brand Library and Arts Center in Glendale, California that we curated for the artist.

Ueno was meticulous in assuring these were as close to the original works as possible and has signed and numbered each at his studio in Japan.

Printed on 300gsm paper, these special editions came out incredible and will look simply stunning once they are framed and on view in your home.

These special editions from Ueno will be available this Friday, July 30 at 9 am LA / 12 pm NYC / 5 pm London via our webshop. No pre-sales.

YOSUKE UENO
“Thanatos Galaxy”
Edition of 75
Size 22 x 35.5 inches / 55.8 x 90.1 cm
Fine art print on Signa Smooth 300gsm paper
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
$350 plus shipping and handling

YOSUKE UENO
“Lily The Kit”

Edition of 50
Size 18 x 22.5 inches / 45.7 x 57.1 cm
Fine art print on Signa Smooth 300gsm paper
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
$300 plus shipping and handling

YOSUKE UENO
“The Hapico Machina”
Edition of 50
Size 28 x 35.5 inches / 71.1 x 90.1 cm
Fine art print on Signa Smooth 300gsm paper
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
$350 plus shipping and handling
Photographed and printed by Static Medium

All sales are final. International customers are responsible for any import fees (duties/taxes) due upon delivery.

Thank you.

Photo Tour of Evoca1’s ‘Sanctuary‘, Tran Nguyen’s ‘Remedy‘, and group exhibition #ThinkspaceHappyPlace

Thinkspace presents a photo tour through Evoca1’s ‘Sanctuary‘, Tran Nguyen’s ‘Remedy‘, and group exhibition #ThinkspaceHappyPlace