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    Henry D’Ath

    Henry D’Ath

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I was born in Dannevirke, a rural town in New Zealand. I’m now based in Hong Kong, working from my studio there.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    For a long time, I was kilometers away from my nearest neighbor, let alone a museum or gallery. I think my first memory would have to be an illustrated portrait of an indigenous American on the back of the bathroom door in my childhood home. It had a short description that talked about connection with the land and living environment. I couldn’t tell you much more about it than that, but I was always looking at it.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    When I was younger I would work on the farm after school or during the holidays. It was mostly building/tending to fences and machinery. It wouldn’t be strictly classified as art or design but there are certain exposures/experiences of being a farmhand that are very artistic or design orientated. This early exposure to craft led to a degree in Architecture which I still practice alongside my sculpture work.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    Architecture opened my eyes to a way of thinking that I’m thankful for. I always had a curiosity for how things were constructed in a basic sense. This matured to the more intellectual side of why things are made through Architecture. Architecture then pulled me toward galleries, and galleries naturally pulled me toward art/design.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    I best understand things physically so I tend to develop through making. Sometimes I will sketch to round out the image of what I’m making.

    Influences come predominantly from the work itself or the works prior. I seem to work in this linear way. Collections can be happening in parallel to each other but the traits of each collection are a development of the last. Because of this I don’t think I want to ever finish a collection or call it complete. I like that I can continue elaborating on ideas.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    I do my administrative tasks first during the day. This is a sort of self-discipline, if I don’t do these first then they probably wouldn’t get done. Once the i’s are dotted then I’m in the workshop until usually too late in the day.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    Familiarity. I have always used wood. It was a working material introduced to me early on. I like the history it has in objects and although very basic, it holds a certain value with people.

    I also like the conflict created when the sincerity of wood is used against far more processed materials. It makes for very interesting dialogues.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    Similar to the conflict at play in the materiality, I use some contradictory methods of production. My work can be very technically ambiguous. At times I will spend days being delicate and slow with a hammer and chisel with bursts of chainsawing and grinding.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    I feel I am still at the very beginning of things and my frame of mind tends towards consuming advice rather than giving. I suppose that’s the advice I would have for others at this stage, that is to be receptive to any advice from those willing to part with it. And maybe search out others doing similar things to you.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Maybe a kind of ruffled zoomorphic/biomorphic/surrealist/abstraction cocktail?

    11. What designers and artists have influenced you ?

    In the way of designers/artists…Wendell Castle, Isamu Noguchi, Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi, Smiljan Radic, Lina Bo Bardi, Valerio Olgiati, Peter Zumthor, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Michael Heizer, H.R. Giger…it does change a bit. 

    Also, it may sound like a bit of a cliché but nature had a huge effect on me so I should give mother earth a shout-out here.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    The work of Misha Kahn, Batten and Kamp, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Reiger Douglas, Katie Stout, Virtue Village, Den Holm, Li Hei Di, David Douard are currently in my feed.

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Same as above.

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    I wouldn’t have a clue. An urban/natural post-industrial love interest?

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

    An endless stream of tools

    2. What is your greatest fear?


    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    My partner

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    My friendships

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    What’s next?

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    9. What is the quality you most like in a man ?


    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman ?


    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?


    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    All the talents I don’t currently have

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    I don’t think there would be any

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    My work

    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    I don’t know

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    Somewhere where the sea meets mountains

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    My body

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    Being an artist

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?


    21. What do you most value in your friends?

    A sense of humor

    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Ted Chuang, Cixian Liu, Ken Liu, Hunter S Thompson, Frank Herbert…mostly sci-fi…

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Couldn’t say

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    Wouldn’t know

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?

    People who continue to try

    26. What are your favorite names?

    Would depend on the person

    27. What is it that you most dislike?

    People not walking on the correct side of the pavement

    28. What is your greatest regret?

    I think I’m still to make it

    29. How would you like to die?

    When I’m ready

    30. What is your motto?

    I’m still coming up with one

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