Ascendants by Kamran Samimi
On view at Liljestrand House from September 29 to November 29, 2021.
This sculptural installation pays tribute to the generations of thinkers, artisans, and laborers residing in the artist’s family tree; it is a monument that embodies creative, cultural and vocational connections over time and space. Ultimately, however, the sculptures pay tribute to not only the artist’s own ascendants, but to the countless people whom all of humanity descends from.
While their forms are geometric, architectural, and austere, each sculpture is a kind of totem, holding space and connecting to those who are not physically present. The installation contains eight different materials, both ancient and modern. This collection of sculptures honors both the material itself, as well as our ancestors who have built the world we know today.
Because of the work’s conceptual foundation, a wordless dialog may be observed between the sculptures, the site, and the house itself, connecting to this unique place’s strong connection to family, history, and intercultural exchange. These eight totems were originally created during an artist residency in 2020/2021 at the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. After standing beside the ocean for eight months, the sculptures traveled up to the mountains, their path honoring the Ahupua’a (Hawaiian Land division) from Makai (sea) to Mauka (mountains.)
About the Artist
Kamran Samimi grew up in rural Laupāhoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi to parents of Iranian and Norwegian ancestry. Drawing inspiration from a range of sources and cultures, his multimedia practice blurs the boundaries between form, matter and the immaterial. Samimi’s work deals with the concepts of space, time, impermanence and the notion of coming-into-being. Often referencing the phenomena of nature, Samimi attempts to bridge the natural and metaphysical via an intensive examination of the process of mark-making, materiality and form.
See more of his work at www.kamransamimi.com.
From left to right: Marble, Granite, Monekypod wood, Plexiglas®, Aluminium, Basalt, Concrete, Earpod wood