Monday, September 03, 2007

Hi-iH. Ai yi yi!

For years I kept seeing lamps around Portland that reminded me of Isamu Noguchi's Akari lamps, translucent organic shapes stretched over wire frames. A little while later I was walking on NE Alberta and ran across a window full of them and a funky sign overhead that read "Hi-iH." It wasn't open then or on subsequent trips, so it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that I finally got to go inside and look at the amazing work of Lâm Quảng (left), the proprietor and creator of these lighted sculptures.

Each one is unique in color and form, some abstract in shape, some obviously modeled on flowers or insects, but all of them intriguing in the way their shapes and colors mimic those in nature.

If you want to see them, do yourself a favor and get there during the Last Thursday event on Alberta when the gallery's open in the evening and the sculptures are lit. You'll think you're entering a surreal garden on a Pedro Almodovar movie set, the plants nodding and glowing as you walk among them. It's a place you won't want to leave soon.

Details: Hi-iH Gallery, 2929 NE Alberta St. Phone 503-493-4367.

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