Compounds of Human Folly: A Conversation with Jacob Hashimoto
by Victor M. Cassidy
When Jacob Hashimoto entered the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he planned to become a Minimalist
painter like Robert Ryman, Brice Marden, or Agnes Martin. At one point, he ran out of ideas and just sat
by his easel. His father counseled him to keep going to class until his brain kicked back in and to start doing
something with his hands, like making model airplanes. Hashimoto chose to build kites, and soon he began
to hang tiny kite forms on steel wires in front of his paintings.
He created his first installation in his apartment after completing school in 1996. For about a year, he handcrafted
1,000 small, circular forms in bamboo, vellum, and thread. Well-connected people saw this work
and--long story short--Hashimoto ended up installing a much larger version, Infinite Expanse of Sky (10,000
Kites) (1998), at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.