An Interview with Jacob Hashimoto

Trammell Crow Center, a Dallas icon for the past 30 years, has been transformed by a sweeping renovation and expansion focused on enhancing every aspect of the tenant experience. As the renovation nears completion the final touches are being put into place.


We had the pleasure of interviewing Jacob Hashimoto, who creates “kites” for use as his medium, to discuss the new eye-catching and unique art installation now on view in Trammell Crow Center.


What about your background inspired you to begin creating art?


I think that the one really important thing about being an artist is having to deal with your own boredom. Having grown up in a very small town in rural Washington state, I had very little to do. It was the perfect environment to foster my creative practice because it was the kind of place where you had to invent things to do. You had to invent meaning, possibility, and magic because there wasn’t any when you walked out the front door of your house. That’s probably the single most important thing.


What inspired you to use kites as your main medium?


I started building kites to fly in Grant Park when I was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Art students have a lot of downtime, so it seemed like a really good hobby just to build kites and fly them with my friends in the park. I accrued somewhere between 50 to 100 kites and I pinned them to the wall of my studio. I looked at them and said to myself, “I could use those for something, I could use those in my artwork.” At the time I was trying to figure out a way to pull my work out of painting, out of two-dimensional space and into room sized spaces. By using the kite as a 3D pixel or 3D brush mark, I could create these more complicated tapestries of visual information that extended off the wall and into physical space which allowed me to make architectural scale work.


Before starting, do you know what you want the overall sculpture to look like, or is it an organic process that builds on itself as you begin to design each kite?


These two artworks started with a sketch, that sketch was turned into a digital drawing, then all the pieces and individual components were moved around through several permutations in that drawing until I got to something that I was satisfied with. That process is very organic. I’m adding, subtracting, and moving things and shifting other things and kind of intuiting what the narrative of the piece is within the picture plane. Once that process is finished, my staff and I went through and we looked at each individual section of the drawing, each gesture, each stripe, each little patch of color, and we wrote out a list of all the parts that we needed to build the artworks. We ended up with a catalogue of parts and we assembled the piece in a much more prescribed fashion. For these pieces, I was on the scaffold all day, every day, working with two to four other people at any given moment. That’s just to assemble the piece and tie the parts into place. Once everything was essentially roughed in, I went back in, adjusted and pulled everything into tension. Then the pieces were complete.


What emotions are you trying to communicate through your exhibit at TCC?


I don’t think that the artwork is trying to elicit one specific emotion. I think that it’s going to be emotive for different people for different reasons. The range of language is so broad and the kind of emotional landscape that it paints is so beautiful that it succeeds because it allows people to take their own emotions or personal experiences and then have that reflected back onto them through the artwork.


To learn more about Jacob Hashimoto, visit his website: