mh RESIDENCY is a studio residency program which aims to support artists and curators developing new projects. The residency is by invitation only, and it provides a workspace, offers opportunities to present work through open studios and events, and helps the residents expand their networks. mh RESIDENCY’s fourth artist-in-resident is a New York-based Japanese artist, Kyoko Hamaguchi.

Kyoko Hamaguchi is a conceptual mixed-media artist who was born in Tokyo and lives and works in New York City. By utilizing her daily experiences and society’s systems in her artwork, familiar images are deconstructed and become anomalous. Her work takes form in many different materials including photography, sculpture, and installation.

For mh RESIDENCY, Hamaguchi will turn the whole space into a site-specific installation. She will investigate the ancient technology of the camera obscura as a system for making sculptural objects. This interactive installation will allow the viewer to engage and play with the images they see in the space. The aim of the project is to propose an alternative way of seeing that emphasizes an active approach to viewing rather than the passive one that has become the norm with the constant flow of images in our environment today.

This time the blurry objects viewers need to bring into focus themselves are things related the mhPROJECTnyc's location. The surrounding area used to be a district of Ukrainian immigrants and the building is called “Ukrainian National Home” and serves as a community center. In an effort to connect to this history, Hamaguchi went to the nearby Ukrainian Museum where she learned how to fabricate traditional Ukrainian Easter Eggs called “pysanka,” which can be found in the installation. Beyond Ukrainian heritage, many other organizations and programs exist or existed in the bulging, including an exclusive disco downstairs in the 70’s, a Hindu temple, a famous restaurant where some Hollywood movies were filmed, and a toy store. Each of the objects Hamaguchi put in the boxes relates to one of these places. When stacked together, the boxes are reminiscent of building blocks, which together reconstitute the contents of the structure.

Kyoko Hamaguchi has received awards including Heisei Art Award, Art Plaza Prize, Ikuo Hirayama Award, Ataka Award. Her recent exhibitions in New York City include SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018 and 2019, Pfizer Building, St. Martin's Episcopal Church, gallery Constance, and AsofNow Gallery. / IG: @kyoko.hmg