Dr James Jack is an artist concerned with rejuvenating fragile connections that exist in the world. He has developed socially engaged artworks for the Setouchi International Art Festival, Busan Biennale Sea Art Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore, Echigo-Tsumari Triennale and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. His works on paper crafted with handmade pigments have been displayed at Kentler International Drawing Space, Cheryl Pelavin Fine Art, Sumi Gallery, the Asian-American Art Center and the Fukuoka Prefectural Art Museum. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Honolulu Museum of Art, TAMA Gallery (New York), Beppu-Wiarda Gallery (Portland), Portland Art Center, TMT Art Projects (Fukuoka) and Satoshi Koyama Gallery (Tokyo). Dr Jack completed a doctoral degree at Tokyo University of the Arts and then worked to establish the Global Art Practice MFA programme there. In Singapore, his works have been exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Art, the ADM Gallery at NTU as well as the Institute for Contemporary Art. Before joining the faculty at Yale-NUS College, he was a Postdoctoral Artist Fellow at the Social Art Lab at Kyushu University.
Dr Jack’s artistic research concentrates on creative perspectives emerging from islands in the Pacific. Artworks embody these expanded views and help us understand complicated natural and human caused events occurring across the globe today. Artworks tell us about the paradoxical condition of our present society in ways that are both analytical and suggestive. The purpose of Dr Jack’s research is to consider the complex relationships between art and society today. This will be achieved not by investigating artworks as the subject of research as in conventional research, but through artwork practice that synthesises the research. The vibrant colours of society form the base that nourishes and informs this art practice.
Through permanent artworks, installation video and text-based works, Dr Jack is re-envisioning the connectedness of islands. Since many of the islands have been overlooked in the colonial gaze, bypassed in militarist desires or left behind in rapid globalisation, this research challenges previous histories of the Pacific. Towards this aim, alternative views of land will be imagined within the complex social circumstances of the Pacific today. This includes socio-geographic mapping of the ocean as seen through the eyes of individual people, building upon the intimate connection between one person and another.
The Sea We See. Primary author (poetry and artwork), Arts Council Tokyo, March 2017.
Play with Nature, Played by Nature. Exhibition catalogue author, Satoshi Koyama Gallery, June 2013.
Philosophies of Dirt: James Jack. Exhibition catalogue, Satoshi Koyama Gallery, October 2012.
Living in Story: Toshiaki Tomita. Exhibition catalogue co-author, Intersections: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2011.
“Art From What is Already There on Islands in the Seto Inland Sea”, Japanese Popular Culture Reader, Routledge Press, 2017, pp. 457-468.
“Social Climates of Sunset House”, Setouchi Triennale publication, October 2016, pp. 12.
“Encountering Photographs with Question Marks by Anzaï Shigeo,” Modern Art Asia, 2013, pp. 1-26.
“Reflection: What isn’t Mono-ha?” Art Asia Pacific Magazine, Issue 80, Sept/Oct 2012, p. 53-54.
“Introduction: Historical Exhibitions”, Requiem for the Sun: The Art of Mono-ha, Major exhibition catalogue, Blum & Poe Gallery, 2012, pp. 124-127, 211-217.
“Stories of Khayalan Island”, Place-Labor-Capital, Centre for Contemporary Art Press, Singapore, 2018, pp. 104-107.
“Khayalan Island” ISSUE 3, LASALLE College of the Arts, August 2014, pp. 120-134.
“Shadow Diary”, Kyoto Journal: Perspectives from Asia, Vol. 69, 2008.
“Water Sho: James Jack”, Kyoto Journal: Perspectives on Asia, Vol. 65, 2007.
“A Window of Life”, AM+ catalogue, Geidai, Alios Center + Iwaki City Art Museum, 2015.
“Unearthing the Seto Inland Sea’s Social Landscapes”, Japan Times Newspaper, March 28, 2013.
“Space is not the Place”, Suzanne Mooney, Exhibition catalogue, Satoshi Koyama Gallery, 2012.
“Shrinking Pacific: Contemporary Japanese Art”, Daily Vanguard: Arts & Culture, Jan. 11, 2007.
“Darren Almond Interview: All Things Pass”, Japan Times Newspaper, January 9, 2014
“The effervescence of artist He Xiangyu”, Japan Times Newspaper, October 30, 2013.
“Art Fiction that keeps our thinking adept: Tsuyoshi Ozawa Interview”, Japan Times Newspaper, August 28, 2013.
“Replaying People’s Actions with a Twist: Francis Alÿs Interview”, Japan Times Newspaper, May 9, 2013.
“Tadasu Takmine’s Not so ‘Cool Japan’”, Japan Times Newspaper, February 7, 2013.
“Energy multiplies creative potential at Trans Art Tokyo: Masato Nakamura Interview”, Japan Times Newspaper, November 15, 2012.
“Colors Born in Light: Interview with Shingo Francis”, Art Asia Pacific Online, April 20, 2012.
“Empty Looking: Spontaneous Reflecting on One’s Thoughts. Haraguchi Noriyuki Interview”, Tokyo Art Beat, May 19, 2010.
“Afterimages from Abroad: Midori Mitamura and Takako Azami”, Tokyo Art Beat, March 11, 2010.
“Nature Giving Birth to Nature: Rei Naito Interview”, Tokyo Art Beat, December 14, 2009.
“Magnolias Across the Pacific: Yoshihiro Suda Interview”, Exhibition Catalog, Contemporary Museum Hawai’i, 2009.
“People’s Faces Light Up: ON Megumi Akiyoshi Interview”, Tokyo Art Beat, October 28, 2009.
“Seven Vaults of the Sky: Sara Dolatabadi Interview”, Tokyo Art Beat, September 28, 2009.
“The Story of a Walk Told with A Needle: Sayaka Akiyama”, Tokyo Art Beat, July 28, 2009.
“The rebirth of Eco-Art: Three women immerse themselves in the environment”, Daily Vanguard: Arts & Culture, February 16, 2007.
“All or Nothing: The Art of Byron Kim”, Daily Vanguard: Arts & Culture, February 9, 2007.