Description of Work

Kjell Hahn produces installations, drawings and ceramics that use gestural marks, repetition and found objects to explore temporal themes of line and space.

His drawings capture moments of interaction – between media and artist but also among the materials themselves i.e. ink and graphite or acrylic and crayon. Hahn reinforces the element of time incorporating commonplace marks the viewer can reference: words, numbers or circles.

Outside of drawing Hahn has spent several years working with potters around Japan. In ceramics, he borrows from the potter’s environment of perpetual motion that focuses on the resulting continuous line of the thrown form. Mr. Hahn then uses this experience to inform his two dimensional and other sculptural work, allowing him to explore the aesthetic elements that these normally sovereign worlds share.

In his installations Hahn assembles discarded materials into a framework, often scrap wood from demolished buildings, and connects them with wood and straw rope (nawa). He uses these traditional Japanese building materials in repeated shapes. Shapes that in wood reference latticework (shoji no san), and in rope reference both domestic building applications (gassho), and religious decoration (shimenawa). Outside each building technique’s cultural significance they share the use of repetition as a tool to divide space, to delineate time, and to bind objects. Thus the restructured base materials are no longer ossified in their former function. They come the viewer repurposed, yet still connected to their original form.

Artist Profile


  • BFA Painting, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO. 2001


  • 2013 – Director, founder. Shiro Oni Studio artist in residency program. Onishi, Gunma, Japan
  • 2013 – Board of directors, Co-founder NPO Kinuya Art Net. Onishi, Gunma, Japan
  • 2012 – Collaboration with Chajin Fuyuko Kobori. Tokyo Fashions Night Out. Vivienne Tam. Omotesando, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2009 – Director, founder of Oni Ten Gallery. Onishi, Japan
  • 2008-2013 – Flamenco set design with artist, Chiaki Horikoshi (堀越千秋). Gunma, Kanagawa, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2008 – Ceramics production with Artist Taihei Sugiyama(杉山たいへい)Hyogo, Sasayama, Japan
  • 2007-2010 – Ceramics apprenticeship with Artist John Dix. Hyogo, Sasayama, Japan
  • 2007-2010 – Cycled over 10,000 km, visiting and collaborating with ceramic artists. Japan
  • 2006 – Precision metal work, welding. Custom metal work for galleries, artists. SK Studios: Brooklyn, NY
  • 2005 – Traditional Javanese mask carving. Mangun Dharma Art Center. Malang, Indonesia
  • 1998-2001 – Co-Director, founder of Tom Thumb Gallery (now in its 14th year). Kirksville, Missouri, USA


  • 2013 – Group Exhibition. KCA House “Open Studio 2013” Saitama, Honjo, Japan
  • 2013 – Group Exhibition. SUMMO “Valentine’s Festa 2013” Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
  • 2012 – Group Exhibition. Megumi Ogita Gallery “XYZ” Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2012 – Group Exhibition. Takashi Murakami’s “Geisai#17” Asakusa Tokyo, Japan
  • 2011 – Group Exhibition. Myogi Art Museum. “30ennale” Tomioka, Gunma, Japan
  • 2010 – Group Exhibition. Oriori Galery. Yamanashi, Japan
  • 2009 – Group Exhibition. “Oni Ten” Shrio Oni Studio. Gunma, Onishi, Japan
  • 2009 – Solo Exhibition. Contrasto Galleria “Kjell Hahn” Myogadani, Tokyo, Japan


  • 2013-2014 – Kojimachi Collection. ”Sotobori Lines” Kojimachi, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2013 – Gungei Pizza. Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan
  • 2008 – M-flo. Himeji, Hyogo, Japan
  • 2007 – Bombay. Kobe, Hyogo, Japan


  • 2014 – Yomirui Newspaper “NPO to Revive Town with Art” Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
  • 2013 – Kanna Fudoshi “NPO Kinuya Art Net” Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2013 – NHK Maebashi Blog “Meeting Kjell Hahn” Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
  • 2013 – Yomirui Newspaper “Reforming Abandoned Buildings, Creating an Art Village” Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
  • 2012 – Kanna Fudoshi “Kjell Hahn’s Art Residency Idea” Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2012 – Kanna Fudoshi “Enjoy Pottery Classes in Onishi” Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2010 – We All Japan “The Oni” Tokyo, Japan
  • 2012 – Kanna Fudoshi “Kjell Hahn’s Art Residency Idea” Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2008 – Jomo Newspaper “An Oni-Themed Art Exhibition” Maebashi, Gunma, Japan