When Cultures Meld: A Q&A with Horishiki on Tattoos, Cultures and Art on April 8

When cultures meld, it can be an opportunity to compare our similarities and experiences, rather than our differences. Artist Horishiki (Chris Brand) illustrates the common thread that runs between the Latino/Chicano and Japanese cultures through his dynamic tattoo storytelling.

At his April 8 lecture at Morikami, Horishiki will explore his work, which depicts individuals’ battles against oppression in graphic, compelling “ink.” His lecture is part of the programming supporting the current exhibit, Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World, on display through May 8, 2016.

The Morikami invites you to talk to Horishiki at his lecture, “The 108 Heroes of Los Angeles.” In the meantime, here is a preview Q&A of his interesting talent and passion:

Q-icon  Are you experimenting with or delving into any other combinations of cultures, like you did with Japanese and Chicano, through art?

A: Other than the “108 Heroes of Los Angeles,” I am not making any other specific combinations of cultures through art. Of course, I do find innumerable connections in the aesthetics and movements throughout the arts of different cultures. Most times, these connections are rooted in geography, trade, religion or colonization. Focusing on Japanese culture and Japanese tattooing, there are many occasions of understanding a story or subject having origins in China or even India, which in the end, is an incredible combination of cultures.

Q-icon With this exhibit you will, no doubt, inspire some other artists. Which artists inspire you with their work?

A: The list of inspiring artists is too long … Miyazo, Junii and Bill Salmon, Horitomo, Ryudaibori, Horitoshi 1, Chaz Bojorquez, Horistune 2, Gustave Doré, Ito Jakuchu, Stan Corona, Hans Memling, Rick Baker, Ornette Coleman, Jean Giraud, Roland Kirk, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Nami No Ihachi, Quentin Tarantino, Syd Mead, Rob Sato, Stanley Kubrick, Jim Henson, Brian Froud, George G. Bridgman, Jack Rudy, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Hokusai, Gaspar Noé, Alphonse Mucha, Robert Crumb, Ron Mueck, Thurup Van Orman, and on and on and on.

Q-icon Beyond tattoos, your work runs the gamut from paintings to sculptures. Are you working on a new collection now? If so, will you share?

A: The most recent series of works I have been experimenting with has been lighted sculptures. I have been sculpting and working three dimensionally most of my life, so this is not that new of a direction for me. It is the incorporation of lighting into the actual works that has been the most experimental. The play of light on any surface is something to be considered when creating a piece or even simply acquiring or placing it in your home or studio space. Light interaction can imbue a mood or an emotion, and attempting to influence that through artificially manipulating the light source is the basis of these new sculptural works.

Q-icon South Florida, like Los Angeles, is a huge melting pot of cultures, including many South American, Canadian and Spanish influences. What do you hope Morikami guests will take away from your lecture, in terms of “culture collaboration”?

A: I would say you have already taken away the most important message I am hoping to convey – the concept of all of these different cultures melting together. South Florida is like Los Angeles because of this mix, I agree. This is true throughout many parts of the United States. More and more, we are all living together and working together towards a common goal of neighborhood to community to city to state to country, and hopefully to working together in a positive and beneficial way globally.

Horishiki (Chris Brand), photo by Kip Fulbeck.
Tattoo by Horishiki.
Work on paper by Horishiki.

Event Details:

Date: April 8, 2016
Cost: $10 for non-members; $7 for members
Advance ticket purchase required
Time: 7:15 (museum doors open at 6 p.m.)
Tickets will be held at the door under your name
Please note that the Cornell Café and Gardens will be closed for the evening.

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