Bloomberg Green
commissioned editorial illustrations for essay series Warm Futures by Kim Stanley Robinson, size variable

Editorial illustrations to accompany Warm Futures, a series of essays by renowned sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson on how to tackle specific environmental and economic problems that will arise in the nearby future. For Bloomberg GreenBloomberg Businessweek's environmentally engaged offshoot.

ad: steph davidson/chris nosenzo

Magma Mechelen
poster, A2
Stroom Den Haag
event invite, digital illustration
WeTransfer
editorial illustration, various sizes
Bloomberg Businessweek
editorial illustration, various sizes
Black Tarantula – Nederkraut
album artwork
Karman
movie poster, commissioned by Dutch Mountain Film, various sizes

Movie poster for Maurice de Bruijne's Karman. A fragmented future vision of Holland and a brave attempt to break away from the Dutch film tradition of slavish social realism.

Tsuyu
hand decorated porcelain, made in collaboration with Gen-emon Kiln, Arita, Japan, various sizes

One of the results from a porcelain residency in Arita, Japan, is the Tsuyu series, a collaboration with the prestigious Gen-emon Kiln. Paying hommage to the Japanese tradition of infusing designs with seasonal references, it tries to convey the spirit of the Japanese monsoon in manga form. For more information, see Journal.

Generously supported by Creative Residency Arita and Creative Industries Fund NL.

lead painter: yokota atsushi (gen-emon kiln)
photography: gen-emon kiln

Thieving Magpies
hand decorated porcelain, made in collaboration with Gen-emon Kiln, Arita, Japan, 30 × 30 cm

A large-scale display piece, made in collaboration with Gen-emon Kiln. Its designs refers to a famous Nabeshima ware plate with two magpies – the auspicious symbol of Saga Prefecture – and calls to mind classical Kacho-ga (“bird and flower paintings”). For more information, see Journal.

Generously supported by Creative Residency Arita and Creative Industries Fund NL.

lead painter: yokota atsushi (gen-emon kiln)
photography: gen-emon kiln

Intruder
hand decorated porcelain, made in collaboration with Gen-emon Kiln, Arita, Japan, 30 × 30 cm

A large scale porcelain display piece, hand painted by Gen-emon Kiln. It features a tortoise shell pattern with an intertwined mukade, the ferocious Japanese centipede, common on the island of Kyushu. The design echoes a Nabeshima ware dish from the Edo period. For more information, see Journal.

Generously supported by Creative Residency Arita and Creative Industries Fund NL.

lead painter: yokota atsushi (gen-emon kiln)
photography: gen-emon kiln

Jacobin Magazine
various commissioned editorial illustrations, 19 × 26 cm
Twin Mirrors
comic book, published by Landfill Editions, 32 pages, paperback, 18 × 24 cm, edition of 500, buy

Twin Mirrors is a publication of two short stories: small parables in comics form. The first story is set in the titular Hermetic Library, in which we stumble upon a seemingly ever-expanding room, the walls of which are completely covered with untitled books. Synopsis, deals with the elemental fear of the white page.

These comics were strictly handmade using traditional tools only (i.e. nib pens, manga screentone foil, Letraset and Mecanorma lettering).

Miscellaneous Editorial Illustrations
commissioned by Bloomberg Businessweek, Migrant Journal and Frankfurter Allgemeine, various sizes
4 Fragments
comic book, published by Landfill Editions, 48 pages, paperback, 18 × 24 cm, edition of 500, out of print

4 Fragments is a collection of short stories. The book is comprised of four hyper-coloured dream sequences, each obliquely referencing news events. These parables are interspersed with ecstatic collages made from reused panels and source material.

Produced in a run of 500 copies with an accompanying print. Made possible with the support of Creative Industries Fund NL.

Blokken
graphic novel, published by Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 112 pages, hardcover, 24,5 × 17 cm, buy

A futuristic modernist tale in a cold-blooded, hard-edged style, Blokken ("Blocks") is a graphic novelization of F. Bordewijk's science-fiction story from 1931, a Dutch precursor to Brave New World. Central to Blokken is an angular cityscape, controlled by a totalitarian system known as The State. Its dehumanized citizens, uniformly clad flat characters, are mere bystanders in this tragedy of grand proportions. Originally conceived as a parable about dubious political projects, Blokken retains a timeless air due to its cool moral aloofness and ruthless abstraction.

Policy Maker
silkscreen print, 12 colours, 50 × 70 cm, edition 1/40 monotypes

Stichting Plaatsmaken in Arnhem (nl) invited me to take part in their Grind the Gap project, an investigation into the role of analogue printing techniques in the digital age.

I devised a silkscreen suite of 40 unique monoprints, printed in 12 colours each – an experiment with aleatoric comic book panels and found text.

Peel Slowly And See
risograph poster, A3, sold out
Book of Void
comic book, published by Landfill Editions, 20 pages, paperback, 18 × 24 cm, edition of 500, out of print

Book of Void deals with the romantic notion of destroying precious artworks and aims to explore its inherent logic – what is it like to live in a world ruled by fear in which a static work of art can become a harmful incomprehensible “Thing” that must be destroyed?

Book of Void is a fictionalized account of two subsequent slashings of monumental minimalist artworks at the Stedelijk Museum and poses the question if such acts of violence are truly pointless, or do they possess an innate spiritual beauty?

Startled Phoenix (After Ito Jakuchu)
offset poster, 62 × 40 cm, edition 1/250
The Motorcycle Boy Reigns
sculpture, 40 × 25 × 28 cm
HotBox
comic, 29,7 × 21 cm, commissioned by Landfill Editions for Mould Map III
Luxury Loft
fine china plate, 25 × 25 cm, commissioned by Landfill Editions
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Arita Zuihitsu

Notes on the Process of Porcelain Production

In Summer of 2019 I travelled to the town of Arita, located on Kyushu, the Southern island of Japan, to join a three month residency programme, centering on the art of traditional Japanese art of porcelain making. Arita-yaki, as it is known in its native Japan, is considered to be the most high-quality type of porcelain. Unfortunately, the popularity of these highly prized objects is waining.This sparked the Creative Residency Arita programme, inviting Dutch artists and designers to innovate this ancient craft.

My work stems from a deep interest Japanese arts and aesthetics, from the elegant Japanese court art to the frantic pop visions of contemporary manga. Combined with my interest in ornamentation as a means of storytelling, I set out to design objects that bridged the gap between these “high” and “low cultures” and over the course of three months designed decorations that resonate with a Japanese as well as a Dutch audience, trying to connect these two hidden worlds of cultural symbolism.

Arita

Arita is a small town on the Southern island of Kyushu that has dedicated itself entirely to the production of high quality porcelain goods, known as Arita-yaki or “Arita ware”. It has done so for centuries, starting in 1616 when porcelain stone was first discovered at the local Izumiyama quarry, up to the present day. Arita ware is known the world over for its high quality decorations: elaborate hand painted motifs, some of which are interpretations of classic Chinese and Korean examples. These traditional depictions of animals (some of them mythical), plants and geometric patterns have been attributed with meaning over the course of centuries.

Among traditional Arita-yaki is a range of rare and highly prized pieces known as Nabeshima ware. Made during the Edo period and influenced by Japanese aesthetic ideals, these dishes were pieces of the highest quality produced exclusively for the aristocracy. Nabeshima ware employs homegrown design principles to striking effect, such as a dramatic use of negative space, heavy stylization and a preference for asymmetry. The anonymous designers drew from a variety of different art forms, such as kimono design and lacquer ware. A number of Nabeshima ware pieces from the Shibata Collection at the Kyushu Ceramic Museum became the starting point for my experiments in Arita.

Nabeshima ware dishes from the Shibata Collection, Kyushu Ceramic Museum

 

A new material

In true Japanese fashion, studying a craft is a painstaking process – starting from the absolute bottom and slowly working your way up. To start off my project, I attended a three-week sengaki painting course – the traditional painting of underglaze outlines onto bisqueware. My enthusiastic and patient sensei mrs. Nagao introduced me to basic techniques of porcelain decoration, showing me the way through painting a carousel of traditional geometric patterns. By practicing on small biscuit fired dishes, I got acquainted to the indigo-blue gosu pigment. As Nagao-sensei pointed out to me: “Sengaki painting is not an art. It’s a sport!”

Different stages of the underglaze and overglaze decoration process at Gen-emon. photo: gen-emon kiln


Gen-emon Kiln

Creative Residency Arita put me in contact with Gen-emon Kiln, one of Arita’s most prestigious kilns, renowned for their lush handmade Ko-Imari (“Old Imari”) style ceramics for more than 260 years. Working closely with Gen-emon’s skilled experts (i.e. Gen-emon owner and designer Shoji Kaneko and lead painter Yokota Atsushi), we translated my designs into handmade ceramics of the highest quality.

 

The Tsuyu series, flat dish and ume ("pear blossom") bowl version. photo: gen-emon kiln

Tsuyu

One of these collaborative works is the Tsuyu series, a range of strictly handmade ceramics inspired by the Japanese rainy season. In Japanese art, it is tradition to infuse illustrations with seasonal references. I wanted to pay hommage to this convention, but experimented with a different way of denoting the seasonal aspect.

This specific design tries to convey the spirit of the Japanese monsoon in sequential form. It is deeply inspired by mid-century manga, even toting comic book screentones (envisioned as Gen-emon’s distinctive plum blossom motif) and manga style onomatopoeia. (Interestingly, the Japanese language employs many different sound effects for specific types of rain!)

 

Large-scale display dish Intruderphoto: gen-emon kiln

Intruder

The Intruder display dish directly echoes a Nabeshima ware design from the Edo period. It features the auspicious tortoise shell pattern with an intertwined mukade, the ferocious Japanese centipede that is very common on the island of Kyushu. This creature is considered a real life yokai (ghost or monster from Japanese folklore) and is notoriously hard to kill. That’s probably why the mukade came to symbolize evil in Japanese art. However, the mukade is also said to possess gold finding abilities: some say looters kept them as pets to detect abandoned gold mines in the Edo period... Unbeknownst to me at first, the mukade became a symbol of my own experience in Japan along the way: trying to worm my way into Japan’s ancient aesthetics and getting entangled in the process.

 

Large-scale display dish Thieving Magpiesphoto: gen-emon kiln

Thieving Magpies

Thieving Magpies is another large-scale display piece, made in collaboration with Gen-emon Kiln during my residency in Arita, Japan. This design also references a Nabeshima porcelain plate from the Edo period, featuring two magpies – the auspicious symbol of Saga Prefecture. In Western folklore however, the magpie is said to be obsessed with shiny objects, often stealing jewelry and such to adorn its nest.

This design refers to Japanese Kacho-ga (“bird and flower paintings”), poetic scenes from nature featuring seasonal aspects and often having metaphysical meanings.

In Japanese traditional art, nothing is without meaning or purpose. In this vein, the image on this plate suggests casting off earthly desires (such as money, jewelry) and to bask in nature’s glory instead: the eternal shining disk of the moon, the Buddhist symbol of inner enlightenment.

 

Madori & Tensha

Apart from being known for its impressive hand painted decoration, Arita is also on the forefront of another specialized technique: the production of tensha. Tensha are water-slide decals–porcelain “stickers” screenprinted onto sheets of gummed paper. The starting point for these tesha-based works were madori (“windows”), a distinctive feature of many Arita-yaki pieces. Appearing in a wide variety of shapes, madori are frames that contain graphic elements, patterns or illustrations. Madori are frequently shown in combination with one another, making it a suitable device to tell complex stories within one graphic composition – an anticipation of manga, in my opinion.

 

The overglaze tensha process

My madori are filled with illustrations based on my direct surroundings in Saga, drawing inspiration from classical themes as well as the everyday, such as supermarket products and roadsigns. The designs of these plates are made using collage techniques: I transposed the production method of my comics (using handcut screen tone foil) onto ceramics. My illustrations were printed onto tensha and rearranged by hand onto the porcelain surface, thus creating unique one-of-a-kind pieces using a technique originally developed for mass production. By freely collaging and combining illustrations, abstract stories enfold, juxtaposing old and new, East and West.

 

*

 

The woodblock prints of Edo-era Japan depict a floating world, closed off to foreign influence. By contrast, while often informed by the formal elements of these masterpieces, the graphic world of Viktor Hachmang is anything but closed, drawing lessons from and gleefully combining visual vocabularies spanning the boundaries of time and space.

His skill as an illustrator lies in an ability to synthesize these references with succinct visual communication. His energy as an artist flows from the sense of universal human experience and culture his imagery invokes – at once contemporary but timeless – how does he do that?
Hugh Frost (Landfill Editions)

Biography

Viktor Hachmang is a Dutch designer, illustrator and comics artist. Although trained as a graphic designer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Hachmang gradually grew into illustration and visual storytelling. His primary sources of inspiration are Ukiyo-e and the European Ligne Claire tradition of comic strips.

Alongside his own autonomous graphic work, Hachmang also works with a wide variety of international clients, ranging from editorial heavyweights (The New York TimesBloomberg BusinessweekMIT Technology Review and Wired a.o.) to luxury brands such as Hermès, Kenzo Paris, Diesel and Lacoste.

Recently he has branched out into comics, releasing a number of experimental comic books and graphic novels, seeking to blur the boundaries between autonomous art and the comic strip. In 2016, he made his debut with the short story Book of Void (published by Landfill Editions, uk) and 2018 saw the publication of a large graphic novel, Blokken.

Hachmang’s work is exhibited regularly, both nationally and internationally, and can be found in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


Viktor Hachmang, B. 1988
Lives and works in The Hague, NL

Education

2008/2011 Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, nl
2007/2008 Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, nl

Workshops & Lectures

2019 BnA Alter Museum, Kyoto, jp
  BNO, Amsterdam, nl
2018 BNO IMG LAB, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, nl
  Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, nl
  Woordnacht, Rotterdam, nl
2014 Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, nl
  Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, de

Bibliography

2019 Twin Mirrors, Landfill Editions, uk
2018 Blokken, Nijgh & Van Ditmar, nl
  4 Fragments, Landfill Editions, uk
2016 Book of Void, Landfill Editions, uk

Selected Exhibitions

2020 2016–2020 Archive Exhibition, Arita Huis, Arita, jp – group
2019 Alfred Jarry et le Collège de ‘Pataphysique: Dr. Faustroll am Jungfernstieg, 8. Salon, Hamburg, de – group
Ondertussen, Stroom, The Hague, nl – group
Creative Residency Arita 2018–2019, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, nl – group
Vice Versus Versa, BnA Alter Museum, Kyoto, jp – solo
Twin Mirrors, Billytown, The Hague, nl – solo
2018 De Creatieve Stad, De Affiche Galerij/Grafische Werkplaats, The Hague, nl – group
Always in the Kitchen, Gouvernement, Ghent, be – group
Landfill Editions Spring Exhibition, Dinner Party Gallery, London, uk – group
Blokken, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, nl – solo
2017 Ever Meulen & Friends, Huis van het Beeld, Brussels, be – group
Grind the Gap, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, nl – group
Grind the Gap, Graphic Matters, Breda, nl – group
2016 Mould Map 6: Terraformers, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, uk – group
Club Gem, CBK Rotterdam, Rotterdam, nl – group
2015 Christmas Print Fayre, KK Outlet, London, uk – group
In No Particular Order, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, nl – group
Secret 7”, Somerset House, London, uk – group
2014 Kolonie, Grafische Werkplaats, The Hague, nl – group
Maskerade, Nina Sagt Galerie, Düsseldorf, de – solo
2013 This is the School and the School is Many Things, KABK, The Hague, nl – group
Re:Rotterdam Art Fair, Rotterdam, nl – group
2012 New Age, Panatom Gallery, Berlin, de – group
Schrank8 Presents Viktor Hachmang, Schrank8, Amsterdam, nl – solo
Power Redux, Wizard Gallery, Oslo, no – group
InLoop/EnTry, Stroom, The Hague, nl – solo
Pick Me Up, Somerset House, London, uk – group

Selected Clients

Apartamento Magazine, es
ArtReview, uk
Away, usa
Baron Magazine, uk
Bauhaus100, de
Bayerische Staatsoper, de
Bloomberg Businessweek, usa
Bromance Records, fr
Bureau Mirko Borsche, de
Condé Nast, usa
Czar, nl
Das Mag, nl
Desktop Magazine, aus
De Volkskrant, nl
Diesel, it
Die Zeit, de
Dutch Mountain Film, nl
Ethereum, sg
Excelsior Recordings, nl
Folio Society, uk
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, de
Gruner + Jahr, de
Here Magazine, usa
Herman Miller, Inc., usa
Hermès, fr
Het Nieuwe Instituut, nl
Items, nl
It’s Nice That, uk
Jacobin Magazine, usa
KABK, nl
Kara, usa
Kenzo, fr
Kitten, fr
Lacoste, fr
Landfill Editions, uk
L'Imparfaite, fr
L'Incroyable, fr
MacGuffin, nl
Marble Records, fr
Medium, usa
Migrant Journal, uk
MIT Technology Review, usa
Modes, it
Neon Magazin, de
New York Times, usa
Nijgh & Van Ditmar, nl
Nylon, usa
OneWorld, nl
Pitch Festival, aus
Printed Pages, uk
Protein Journal, uk
Skitsch, it
Social Club, fr
Stroom Den Haag, nl
Subbacultcha, nl
Tanker, be
The Fader, usa
Urban Outfitters, usa
Volya Films, nl
WeTransfer, nl
Wired, uk
Ymere, nl
Zeit Magazin, de
Zeit Verbrechen, de

Awards & Grants

2014 Talent Development Grant, Creative Industries Fund, Rotterdam, nl
2011 Best Thesis Award (nomination), Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, nl

Residencies

2019 Creative Residency Arita, Saga Prefecture, jp

Work in collection of

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, nl

 

contact
info@viktorhachmang.nl

instagram
@viktorhachmang

 

Kindly supported by
Stroom Den Haag

 

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