Briefly describe the work you do.
Like a poltergeist that is only active in the absence of humans, my work is an on-going search of for the manifestation of aesthetic experience through acts of transgression. Ranging from sculpture to installation and painting to sound performance, I seek to uncover the subtle beauty of coincidence and anomaly, as well as to challenge pre-conceived notions of the everyday experience. My work is always in flux and subject to change, which allows me to create and experiment by constantly translating and imposing existing logic from one system to another. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources as diverse as pet psychology, modern interior design, nocturnal insects, bank robberies and Chinese ghost stories, I am constantly pairing moments in the broader culture to create new scenarios and situations that suggest alternate perspectives of the many social rituals that we participate in.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
When I was young, my mother always kept me engaged in different kinds of artistic activities. In high school I almost failed my chemistry class.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I am constantly observing and absorbing interesting things around me. Whether it’s from surfing the internet or visiting the local pet shop. Almost simultaneously, I started to think illogically, to make strange connections and scenarios that don’t necessarily make sense initially. I edit these strange thoughts, saving the essences from the thinking session, and let them marinate for a few days. I then try to make sense of new ideas by researching and learning from them, before translating them into actual work. Having a studio is very important to me because I am an impulsive buyer, and it really helps to have a space to store all the crap i buy from amazon. In addition, studio is almost the only place where we can hide our bad art from the precious eyes of our viewers.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Before, I always thought I was an artist, I didn’t know that I was actually a muddy catfish, a flying cockroach, a grounded bat, or a noisy ghost.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
I find myself most active at 12:00am sharp.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
I think that the more art I do, the harder it gets. When I started taking art seriously in high school, art was very easy as I was able to create drawings of beautiful creatures from my own imaginary world, and everyone loved it. Now when I make something, people usually say “WTF” or “I don’t know about that”. I really miss the good old days when art used to be so simple.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Ukraine’s Darth Vader (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/31/ukraine-darth-vader-president-internet-party) is someone I have been thinking about. Vader’s dedication to humor in the time of serious crisis is something that is very admirable to me personally.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
1: I’d like to be a handsome detectorist that does not find anything ever, so I can always hang out at the beach with a Piña colada, reciting world history to half naked passersby.
2: I’d like to be the captain of Kanye West’s space ark. According to word on the street, Kanye is currently constructing a space ark exclusively for his art collections.
Originally born in Hsin Chu, Taiwan, Hao Ni is an artist currently living and working in the United States. Hao Ni received his BFA in 2011 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is expected to receive his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in May 2014. Ni’s work has been exhibited at the Granoff Center of Art, Yellow Peril Gallery in Providence, RI, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in NYC, Scope Art Fair in Miami and NEXT Art Fair in Chicago. In 2011 Ni was awarded the Edward Ryerson Fellowship at the SAIC, and in 2012 the Presidential Scholarship from RISD.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.