Last month, the Hausie team attended Art Central’s VIP Press Review and witnessed a plethora of exquisite and mentally stimulating work. We were particularly drawn to a series of quiet yet haunting, rhythmic drawings by John Franzen, and had the pleasure of meeting the artist in person.

John Franzen | Art Central Hong Kong 2016 | Photography by Hausie

Making his Asia debut with PARKVIEW Hong Kong, Franzen was present for a live performance of a piece in the making, for his series; “Each Line One Breath”. As the title explains, within one breath he draws one line, whereby “each subsequent line seeks to imitate its predecessor” (PARKVIEW, 2015).  

Drawing Hand on Paper | Photography by PARKVIEW Hong Kong

He starts with a straight line and just how each breath is different, so becomes the line. In some ways, this methodical approach is both systematic and freeing: “depending on the artists’ constitution, each work obtains an individual motion, which distinguishes it from the others” (PARKVIEW, 2015). The unknown is at play here, as Franzen allows the universe to dictate the work.

Each Breath One Line | No A18 | Photography by PARKVIEW Hong Kong

Speaking to our editors, Franzen described his thoughts as he draws; “I’m trying to meditate while drawing because I’m trying to let all my thoughts go.” This explains the almost Zen quality that can be felt from the pieces. However, at times the peace is disturbed, and that’s when we see the carefully controlled lines shift gradually.

Each Breath One Line | No A30 | Photography by PARKVIEW Hong Kong

This is when unknowingly, the aura of the environment seeps itself into the drawing. The artists says; “sometimes I really feel how someone’s coming. I really feel how she or he moves. If they move fast or slow. And sometimes, I feel what they think.”

“sometimes I really feel how someone’s coming. I really feel how she or he moves. If they move fast or slow. And sometimes, I feel what they think.”

Each Breath One Line | No A10 | Photography by PARKVIEW Hong Kong

Finalising his performance, the artist commented on the over arching theme of his work:

“You concentrate on the air around you and you keep it. That’s the feeling. That’s you in the universe. It’s about nature’s principles and the universe.”(John Franzen, 2016)

 

With special thanks to John Franzen for his insightful words and artistic inspirations, as well as PARKVIEW ART Hong Kong.

 

Written by Sonia Wan

Edited by Christina Wright

References

Art Central (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://artcentralhongkong.com/ [Accessed 12/04/16]

John Franzen (2016) Artwork [Online] Available at http://www.johnfranzen.com/art/JOHN_FRANZEN_ARTWORK.html [Accessed 12/04/16]

PARKVIEWART Hong Kong (2016) Home [Online] Available at http://www.parkviewarthk.com/ [Accessed 12/04/16]

John Franzen (2016) Each Line One Breath Paper Edition [Online] Available at http://www.johnfranzen.com/art/JOHN_FRANZEN_-_EACH_LINE_ONE_BREATH_-_PAPER_EDITION.html [Accessed 12/04/16]

John Franzen (2016) Each Line One Breath Copper and Brass Edition [Online] Available at http://www.johnfranzen.com/art/JOHN_FRANZEN_-_EACH_LINE_ONE_BREATH_-_COPPER_%26_BRAS_EDITION.html[Accessed 12/04/16]