Architecture of "painting" by Processing


Hello! I am Tomoe Hayama. I have been working on graphic art and recently focusing on generative art in particular. My solo exhibition is scheduled from March 26 to 30 April 2016 at Takashi Somemiya Gallery. In this article, I introduce my artworks in progress and idea behind them.

 photo popcorn_B4.gif
Let me introduce the history of my past artworks briefly. I started my career as an graphic artist 10 years ago with pasting and stacking decals. A main ingredient of my early works is sticker of model cars for Japanese boys (see the left one). Seeing these pieces, the design of stickers comes from typography, geometry and effect which boys like. I recomposed them and made artworks.

Here I draw artworks by "pasting", which is like "painting". A traditional "painting" made by brush, pencil and oil for example. But today "cut and paste" is more primitive way to make something. I have been trying to make artworks by "pasting". This technique is also used in graffiti art. Developing this "pasting" method, I make pieces of decals by cutting plotter and compose artworks.

The aim of my current art project is to make clear the process of generating "shape" of my artworks and describe its algorithm. I expect this algorithmic/computational approach gives wider expression beyond human scale. This is my motivation for generative art.

A difficult point of this project is this: how do I analyze the essence of shape of my artworks? My artworks are made by pasting and stacking pieces. Shape and flow of them are ruled by my human sense, which is difficult to analyze. This unanalyzable sense identifies what I make. So, how do I program a platform of making shape which admit of my human sensitivity.

system of 
Formalization of process of making shape has been discussed in architecture. Kiyonori Kikutake, a Japanese architect who leads Metabolism movement, proposed three steps to generate a shape: "ka", "kata" and "katachi". Here "katachi(かたち)" means shape and is composed of three Japanese character. Reducing these characters, "kata(かた)" and "ka(か)" have different meanings and he applied the meanings to the process composing "katachi". To be brief, "ka" is a conceptual phase; "kata" is a technical phase; and "katachi" is a substantial phase. This idea is similar to the one of order/form/shape of Louis Kahn. If you generate a shape, you trace steps from "ka" to "kata" to "katachi". On the other hand, if you recognize a shape, you trace backward: "katachi" to "kata" to "ka". Process of architecture is to trace the vertices of the triangle composed of "ka", "kata" and "katachi" in both direction (see the right diagram).

Kikutake's idea is too theoretical in 1960's to put in practice. However, it is valid in practice today because of the development of algorithmic design tools like Rhinoceros+Grasshopper. That is to say we may program "kata" and generate "katachi" by running the program. If we set parameters and glide them, we may get infinitely many shapes. Then making a good shape is equivalent to choosing a good shape. To make a better shape, we should give suitable parameters and choose better one. The "ka/kata/katachi" theory after algorithmic design is updated by Shohei Matsukawa.

I want to apply the above idea by architects to my art project. I suppose "ka/kata/katachi" is adapted as follows:

  • "ka": identity of my artworks, essential element
  • "kata": drawing program with parameters, procedure of generating shapes
  • "katachi": final form of artworks    
katachi - "The deadly sin" (2016)
Making artworks in the direction from "ka" to "kata" to "katachi" seems to be difficult.  "ka" is related to my human sensitivity, and it is hard to program. In addition, existence of idea of art is a main problem in post-modern art world.

I think a natural direction to make artworks is "katachi" to "kata" to "katachi". I mean we should find out "kata" at first from "katachi" and make variations of "katachi" by parametrization. We just choose a better one and brush up. Then "ka" will rise up later.

My project started with programming a code ("kata") by Processing from my past artworks ("katachi"). The following program is modeled on the "blowup" series. The controllers on the left side deform shape of object.

kata - drawing program by Processing

Exporting a vector image data and cutting decals, I paste and stack them on metal materials as follows.
 photo 2015-12-05-11.48.jpg
φ60cm decals on stainless board

 photo 2015-12-05-11.48.jpg
φ60cm decals on steel board
Advantages of Processing is flexibility of media of final form. We may have several ways to output. By using a photo-realistic rendering library, a different expression is available from the same program.  

kata - drawing program by Processing
rendered image 1

rendered image 2

 photo 2015-12-18-12.jpg
560mm×457mm print with metal frame
In the solo exhibition, the above series of pasting and photo artworks will appear. See you next year!

Tomoe Hayama solo exhibition "Architecture of painting"
March 26 - April 30, 2016
Takashi Somemiya Gallery
Sekiguchi 1-24-8, Bunkyo, Tokyo 112-0014



Processing Advent Calender 2015参加記事

(in English)


 photo popcorn_B4.gif




  • 「か」: 絵の本質、作家性、その作家の絵だとアイデンティファイさせるもの
  • 「かた」: パラメータ変化可能な描画アルゴリズム、データを物体にするまでの手続き
  • 「かたち」: 最終的な作品形態
「かたち」 "The deadly sin" (2016)


「かた」 Processingによる描画プログラム

 photo 2015-12-05-11.48.jpg
φ60cm ステンレス板にマーキングフィルム

 photo 2015-12-05-11.48.jpg
φ60cm 鉄板にマーキングフィルム

「かた」 Processingによる描画アルゴリズム
rendered image 1

rendered image 2

 photo 2015-12-18-12.jpg
560mm×457mm ラムダプリント出力に額装

ハヤマトモエ個展 『絵画の設計』
2016年3月26日(土)~4月30日(土) (予定)
Takashi Somemiya Gallery
〒112-0014 東京都文京区関口1-24-8
TEL 03-3267-0337