Fire reds, glowing neon scrawl and masses of woven blue, green, pink and yellow. Hiromi Tango’s forest-like sculptures are intricate and wild. Each blooming, intertwined mass of colour is a vivid representation of the tangle of human emotion. In August, the Japanese artist will return to Sullivan+Strumpf for Fluorescence, her second commercial collection to show at this Zetland gallery.
Tango describes the work in Fluorescence as deeply personal; focused on her father, memory, loss and intergenerational relationships. “In Fluorescence, I am hoping to understand what is happening in his life, and my connection with him,” she explains. “I am re-gathering the essence of him, of what I remember of him, and trying to understand something very important.” As her father’s health has slowly faded, so has his perception of the fluorescent spectrum. “I learned that once the retinal function deteriorates as you get older, you don't see fluorescent colours as vividly. It made me think about how my father is engaging with his everyday life with limited colour, light, sound and physical movement.”
The exhibition will feature floor-to-ceiling vines, built from Tango’s signature rainbow of textiles and collected ornaments and memorabilia. Works in the exhibition will continue to evolve and develop over time, almost as living organisms. To do this, Tango will visit the exhibition multiple times over the month; wrapping, weaving and growing each piece, painted and costumed in the same vibrant twists of colour. “Each performance is unique, responding in context to the sculpture in its current iteration,” she says. “With each new iteration, I am able to weave in my emotions and issues that I am challenged by at the time, experimenting with materials and ideas in different ways as I create the sculpture.”
Fluorescence will appear at Sullivan+Strumpf from August 1–22. Hiromi Tango will be performing at 3pm August 1.