Interview with the Chief Expert Ann Hamilton

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CAFA Visual Art Innovation Institute Chief Expert Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton
Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. She currently serves as a professor in the Department of Art of the Ohio State University.
As the visual artist came to her prominence in the 1980s, Ann Hamilton has been well known for her large-scale multimedia installations. These works are composed of a variety of existing objects, fibers and organic materials, added with sound and visual elements, invoking the viewer with all kinds of sensory associations. Ann Hamilton’s work, through practices of printing, photography, video, performance, and sculpture, embodies an avant-garde exploration of the visual,the linguistic and the tactile. With the linguistic capacities of her installation and her usage of the space, Ann Hamilton has contributed much enlightenment to the contemporary art world, especially the field of installation.

Expert interviewed: Ann Hamilton
Interviewer:Hu Bei

Artist Ann Hamilton and Interviewer Hu Bei

VAII:How do you create new tactile experiences through your art practice?
Ann Hamilton:I am a “maker” rather than an artist. I am interested in “us/them.” knowing that I’m also sharing that with a person next to me  I create feel space with materials to allow kind of intimacy with total stranger, the situation makes it possible.

VAII:What is the word “border” mean to you?
Ann Hamilton:To me, “border” means “distance”. A friend of mine who’s a wonderful poet, Susan Stewart, said that “hearing is how we touch at a distance.”I like my works to be able to make people closer to each other.

VAII:In what way do you think artists could influence and change the world?
Ann Hamilton:Artist can, in their own way, participate the society, to reestablish relationships between people to people and people to their surrounding with works that create a tactile experiences.

VAII:What is something you really care about in your artwork?
Ann Hamilton:If my work can address questions that I may not have answer, and be able to put the questions in right physical forms that can generate discussions around the questions, that would make me very happy.

VAII:When did you make a leap in at Yale? And, what had happened that helped you to make the leap?
Ann Hamilton:When I was in graduate school then. And, I was incredibly self-conscious. There’s a lot of pressure to articulate. I remember that I had made a project for my first critique in graduate school, and it was an awful project. I had ideas and words as why I made this project, but it did not work. So I thought, is there a way to take this kind of maybe emotional predicament and find a physical form for that.

VAII:As a distinguished expert of CAFA Visual Arts Innovation Institute, what would you like to share with CAFA teachers and students?
Ann Hamilton:The incredible thing about technology is it amplifies and extends our reach, the reach of a voice, the reach of one’s touch. And so, I think one of my questions has been,what is the value or form of making by hand? But, you know, there’s a generation that’s growing up thinking inside the technology.
You know, I teach in a university, and I think where’s the place in that kind of?educational institution for embodied knowledge.During this trip, I have met so many wonderful students, they are extremely curious about “art and technology” and the “Making”.I am looking forward coming back to make works with them.

Contextile 2018 Contemporary Textile Art Biennial, Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimar aes · 2018

Photo credits: Thibault Jeansen, Vasco Cielo

SITE Santa Fe·Sante Fe,New Mexico
JULY 18- OCTOBER 4, 2015

Photo credits: Ann Hamilton Studio, Eric Swanson


Paperback bookslices, wood, bookbinder's glue

Contents, 2014;NOTES, 2014.

WORLD, 2014

Great cloud-shadows float in the opal water, 2014

swells and meetsthe limits of bone, 2014; After word, 2014.
THE GOLDEN CHANCE, 2014 (detail)
THE GOLDEN CHANCE, 2014; water lilies, smooth as cream, 2014

Chief Editor / Dong Huiping
Layout Editor / Zhang Yueyan
Text / CAFA VAII RobotArt Lab
Image/Ann Hamilton Studio