Works

Œuvres à l’Encre

2018
Jack is a traveler who searches with all of his being and intuition to bring together a vocabulary that brings together the real with the spiritual. Gathering materials from specific sites, Jack explores social memories of place through intimate contact with the people who live there in the simplest way. His method, using ink he creates from the husk of butternuts and walnuts (he gathers the nut, separates the husks, grinds, boils and filters them) is a meditative, labor intensive process. Representation is not the goal. The painting is more than the subject. The ink, color and brushwork become the image, not the mountain or ocean or whatever he is painting. Poetry that is connected to the landscape and people.

Natura Naturata: Light of Singapore

2017
Dirt is a part of us. Just as our body is composed of cells, organs and systems—so too is the earth. This fragile earth supports our life, yet we often separate ourselves from it. This work is composed of dirt traces gathered in Singapore. Look into these earth windows, what do you see?

Sea Birth: part two

2017
This work builds upon the spirits found in the turbulent sea on the Pacific side of Okinawa. What will be born from an encounter near the site of the S. Ukibaru shipwreck?

Sea Birth: part one

2017
The work Sea Birth begins with a wood fragment of an unidentified shipwreck in the coral near Minami Ukibaru Island. In reflecting imaginatively on the cultural connections linked to these fragments, the potential for a new life in the sea is opened.

Transpacific Crossing

2017
Views of the Pacific seen from the bathymetric data from one container ship travelling between Aomi Terminal to the Port of Tacoma.

Iwaki Window

2016
These eighty-eight works are composed simply of dirt traces on paper. The artist stood at each of these sites during the past year—touching one granule at a time, feeling the life of the earth on one’s fingertip. Numerous sites near the exhibition location in Fukushima Prefecture were also included, gradually bringing the spirit of each place  into view. Look into these windows, what do you see?

Stories of Khayalan Island

2013-present
This project begins from the rumor of an island that disappeared in the 19th century in Singapore harbor. Through a collective search, the island is re-imagined in the complexities of the present.

Migration of a Cycad

2015
A Cycad tree is fabled to have been carried by boat from the Ryukyu Archipelago to Takamatsu circa the 18th century. In exchange, a pine tree sapling was carried by boat on a five-day trip from Takamatsu to the island of Tokunoshima by the artist.

Sunset House: The House as Language of Being

2010-present
This artwork is built together with the community from a former community center on the island of Shodo. During artistic production, words have been integrated into the structure of the walls and stone garden.

Philosophies of Dirt

2005-2012
“Dirt has a mind. In reading James Jack’s Philosophies of Dirt, here is one idea to which I propose we commit—that not only does dirt have a mind, it uses it.”

Natura Naturata

2010
Earth pigments painted directly on the wall in a contemplative process, including three samples gathered in the vicinity of the gallery.

Natura Naturans

2005
“For Natura Naturans, James Jack has created a work of profound beauty with a luminescence and quiet hue that evokes a sense of harmony with the nature of the Northwest.”

Ink & Essence

2003-2010