Hisham Akira Bharoocha



Snow Contemporary, Tokyo, Japan 2013

Control was Bharoocha’s first official solo exhibition in Tokyo Japan at Snow Contemporary.  In this exhibition consists of a large scale painted mural, paintings, collages, animation piece, and sound piece which was played at low volume in the main space.  Bharoocha himself explains his creation as “a process of visualizing the chaos in my mind.” Nowadays, where overflown information influx into our consciousness without our choices, we hope this exhibition would allow you a moment to scrutinize and rediscover deeper senses of your own in some way.


Bharoocha’s works cover a broad range of forms ― from installations to paintings, collages and photography, which all works begin from the process of visualizing the unconscious flashes in his mind, under the state of meditation, dreaming or daydreaming, as well as chaotic memories from the past.

“Whenever I drift into a chain of thoughts, I reflect on why a thought led to another and try to show the kind of process that I observe in my mind; how things that may seem dissimilar can actually relate to each other in my mind.”

“My murals are a way to create an environment in which the viewer is engulfed by the work.  Having grown up in cities such as Tokyo and later on New York, I have always been enthralled by the feeling of being overwhelmed and engulfed by the amount of information we take in moment by moment.  The streets and the internet feed our minds constantly.  All our senses are taking in information and our minds have to absorb or treat all the information like a drone which underlies our daily activities.  One tries to find balance in the chaos of this barrage of information.  My murals express the chaos as well as the balance we experience within a world where we are inundated with information”.

“Another element that is important in creating my murals is that they are temporary.  Once I create them for an exhibition the viewer will never be able to see them created in exactly the same way in another space.  A photograph is the only remnants of the process  as well as the outcome of creating the mural.  One who experiences the mural can remember the feeling of experiencing it but cannot see it again, thus making a creative space within the audiences’ mind.  The viewer post experience can become creative in a sense which is an inspired space in the mind to activate”.

“Evoking an imagined feeling can sometimes be more interesting than a record of an experience.  Many elements are missing from the experience felt in the space when looking at a photographic record such as the space surrounding the mural, the context which it sits in the space as well as the town or city, what area of a town or city it was created and so on”.

“Sometimes we try to hold onto our experiences which inevitably pass.  I am interested in creating an image that can be felt physically, but can also leave a feeling that can be revisited in the mind without a way to go back to that exact moment or feeling it evoked initially”.

“These paintings are created with the conversation of control verses chance in mind. The ability to control something- a sound, a design, a moment- has a limitation. Everything in life is created with some level of chance and happenstance.   Is chance a completely randomized happening or is it scientifically defined by the elements that lead to a certain outcome?  This conversation can easily be brought into the realm of human life on a day to day basis.  People attempt to control what happens in their lives, but a lot of the outcome has to do with how the road before you unfolds and things we have no control over as they are random or due to circumstance.  If one believes there is only one right way to do something, this creates a limitation.  If one can create a balance of accepting chance and controlling, ultimately one can have a positive outcome, even if it may not be what one expected.  I feel these concepts are brought forth by my dyed canvas paintings”.

“My painting process begins with creating a pattern using a process of  ‘Itajime’ or ‘Shibori’ dying techniques, which has historically been used all over the world to dye fabrics for garments.  I was intrigued by a process that had an element that you could not control.  I found that the best results came from when I was surrendering to this lack of control, to work without a tightly controlled concept of what I wanted the canvas to look like.  How I treat the fabric before dying it, the temperature of the water, the dyes all create the final outcome”.

“I then use a highly controlled process of painting geometric patterns on top of the dyed fabric. The contrast of these texture is suggestive of this conversation of control versus surrender. The base of the painting is left greatly to chance, while the design of the applied paint is mapped out and planned prior to placement on the canvas”.

Title: The Back and Forth
Medium: Hand Dyed Fabric and Acrylic Paint
Measurements: 12 x 12 inches
Date: 2013

Title: Step Sequence
Medium: Hand Dyed Canvas and Acrylic Paint
Measurements: 10 x 10 inches
Date: 2013

Title: Wiggle
Medium: Hand Dyed Found Fabric
Measurements: 36 x 29 Inches
Date: 2013

Title: Volume
Medium: Hand Dyed Canvas and Acrylic Paint
Measurements: 41 x 32 Inches
Date: 2013

“An important element to my collage work is the found image. Our creativity and thoughts are based on and limited by the experiences we have had in life. When you happen upon something your mind is given an idea or an image that you may have never have thought of on your own. The images I use are ones I chanced upon”.

“The visual stories created in the collage are based on how the mind weaves between the seemingly disparate experiences one has on a day to day basis.  In our day to day one mental image morphs and oozes into another, and before you know it you are thinking about something that seems to be so far from where your thought process started”.

“When one dreams each person has a record of happenings that they experience and your mind triggers seemingly random information to create a surreal story in the mind”.

“My collage work is a physical manifestation of the seemingly uncanny connections the mind creates between experiences we have, desire, or to which we have an aversion”.

Title: Portrait Of A Stranger
Medium: Collage and Ink on Paper
Measurements: 8 x 10.5 Inches
Date: 2013




Title: Shallow
Medium: Collage on Paper
Measurements: 22 x 30 Inches
Date: 2011

Title: Empty Apple
Medium: Collage on Paper
Measurements: 6.8 x 7.4 Inches
Date: 2013

Animation still from a video loop Bharoocha made for this exhibit.  To see a moving version please watch this video with music composed by Ben Vida.