The Henry is delighted to announce Jason Hirata as the recipient of the 2015 Brink Award.
The award was established with the generous support of longtime Henry benefactors and Seattle philanthropists John and Shari Behnke, and provides financial support, increased exposure, and critical validation from an internationally recognized arts institution, with the aim of fostering the artistic and professional development of emerging artists in the region. Mr. Hirata will receive a prize of $12,500 and be given a solo exhibition at the Henry, accompanied by a publication next spring. In addition, a work of art will be acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.
“Jason Hirata’s work is multilayered and spans different media to explore questions related to the conditions of our contemporary, networked society and globalized economy,” says Nina Bozicnik, Juror and Henry Assistant Curator. “His practice is an ongoing questioning of what constitutes a work of art and the processes and forms it can take.”
Among Hirata’s concerns are the behavior of images and how they accumulate cultural meaning, technological innovation and effects on perception, and systems of valuation in art and culture. His art has taken form in flat screen monitors, the architectural details and volume of a gallery, and a meet up of audiophiles.
Jason Hirata was born and raised in Seattle. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Photography from the University of Washington and has shown locally at the Frye Art Museum, James Harris Gallery, 4Culture Gallery, and Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery. He works in Seattle and New York.
The 2015 cycle of the Brink Award relied on nominations made by invited members of the regional arts community. Nominators were chosen with an eye to ensuring diversity in the selection process. This group of arts professionals and academics has a strong commitment to recognizing, promoting, and supporting emerging artists in our area.
This year, 57 nominations were received from a group of art professionals across the Pacific Northwest. The jurors conducted studio visits with all of the finalists in late May before selecting the award winner. The 2015-16 Jury was comprised of Dan Webb, artist; Robert Snowden, Curator at Yale Union in Portland; Helga Pakasaar, Curator at Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver, B.C.; Nina Bozicnik, Assistant Curator at the Henry; and founders John and Shari Behnke.
The Brink is in its fourth biennial cycle. In 2009, The Brink was awarded to Isabelle Pauwels, Vancouver, B.C.; in 2011, to Andrew Dadson, Vancouver, B.C., and in 2013, to Anne Fenton, Seattle, WA.
The Brink Award complements the Henry’s role as a catalyst for the exhibition and creation of contemporary art, while simultaneously demonstrating the museum’s commitment to artists working in our region.