Part One: How Comes It To Be Furnished?
September 17 – October 15, 2005
Opening reception: Saturday, September 17, 6 – 8pm
Public hours, Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-6pm

1563 North Lake Avenue, Pasadena, California  91104
Contact, Suzette Munnik, Director
E-mail, <>
Web site, <>

Barbara Hashimoto, "Primary Notions", 2005.

This 15-year retrospective exhibition focuses on the development and influences of Hashimoto’s ceramic-based bookwork. On exhibition will be significant early pieces never exhibited before in the United States.

An artist performance with sound and video will be presented during the opening reception.

ARTIST TALK: Sunday, September 25; 1pm
Barbara Hashimoto discusses the work in her 15-year retrospective exhibition, How Comes It To Be Furnished?  She relates how her seven-year tenure in Asia – her apprenticeship in Japan, residency in Thailand and travels to India – influenced her earliest work, while her re-assimilation into American culture formed the basis of her later researched-based narratives.

Part Two: Return to Tabulae Rasae
October 21 – November 26, 2005
Opening reception: Saturday October 22; 6 – 8pm
New ceramic, mixed-media and performance work inspired by the writings of John Locke.

Xiem Gallery presents the work of Barbara Hashimoto in a ten-week, two-part exhibition opening September 17, 2005. Viewed sequentially, the two parts illuminate Hashimoto's thematic concerns and locate her current practice, which includes the use of ceramic materials and process, in the context of her rich background in performance and mixed media. Performances, workshops and lectures are to be scheduled in connection with the exhibition.

Most recently attracting critical acclaim in the “Terra Nova” exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Hashimoto’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Japan and Israel.  This is her first solo show in the Los Angeles area in three years.

Reflecting on her choice of titles How Comes It To Be Furnished? and Return to Tabulae Rasae, the artist cites John Locke (1632-1704), credited with initiating the concept of the Tabula Rasa, or blank slate, as a preliminary stage of cognitive and affective development. The following lines are from John Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding":

“Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper void of all characters, without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word, from experience.”

Hashimoto works in sculpture, installation and performance. She is best known for her ceramic work in which she fires clay with books and reworks the resulting pieces with drawing, painting and collage. Her process alternatively destroys and enhances the original intention of the book and furthers the artist’s concerns with censorship, neo-narrative and the objectification of knowledge. Though the role of materiality is significant, Hashimoto’s work is researched-based and conceptually driven.  She addresses cross-cultural identity, sexuality and power. The singularity of Hashimoto's work lies in its agile transcendence of medium and discourse to illuminate metaphors of transformation, without privileging points in time or the closure of result.

Born in New Jersey and educated at Yale University, Hashimoto lived in Japan for seven years. After completing her apprenticeship to artist, Junko Yamada, she established a studio in Tokyo and exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Japan before relocating to Los Angeles in 1995.

Selected articles relating to Hashimoto's work:
Sculpture Magazine: <>
Ceramic Art and Perception: <>
Coagula Art Journal: <>
Images of Hashimoto’s work: <>

Return to Gallery Pages