#TheTALKS – Art Curator & Time-based Artist Justin Hoover


Justin Hoover (credits to his website)

The term “Time based art” might not be something that you hear everyday. It gives a rather intangible feeling, right? We are not going to give you a definition here (you can see here if you really want to get an idea of it).

While you are having a big question mark on that, read through this interesting interview with time based artist Justin Charles Hoover, on how he started with his path with art. His curated exhibition “Fields of Abstraction” is currently showing at Galerie Du Monde until 9th Nov, 2015.

Paul Clipson - Made of Air(Screenshot 10) 16 mm Film to digital transfer 2014

Paul Clipson – Made of Air (Screenshot 10) 16 mm Film to digital transfer 


1. When was your first time encountering art? How did it all start?
I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by art my entire life.  Since I was a small boy my family had art in the home and I remember taking art classes and visiting museums.  One of my earliest art memories was a report I was assigned to do on Vincent Van Gogh in the 5th grade. I made a movie. This was in the 1980’s and in the video I time traveled to his time to interview him. I the took an amazing art history class in high-school in which I found my love of the study. Later in life I learned that video could be art too and then my life really became what it is today. But I also grew up with video, my family ran the top video production facility in Northern California so I was surrounded by really creative people making moving images my entire life. 

2. Any reasons why you choose to be a time-based artist?

I think there are two elements to how I became a time based artist.  First is, as I mentioned above, I grew up with video production. I was always on set during shoots, or on location helping out.  I was often assisting in wiring computer and editing systems and other video production related things.  I learned to edit on an avid system at a very young age, like 10 years old, even before non-linear editing was ubiquitously available. And I remember playing with digital graphics systems when they were still massively expensive systems that only production houses could afford. I have also always been an avid athlete.  You put the two together and you get someone who practices physical actions for public competition and who loves to make videos, and voila, you a recipe for a performance/video artist. 

3. What is time to you? And how important is it to you?

Time is funny.  This question is funny.  This question is probably the essence of many lives worth of philosophical pondering. To me time is a river. You can’t go back, and you can’t go forward.  You just can sit there.  But it can change too. If you’re in a car crash it goes so slowly, or if you have a year can feel like a week. I count time very well, I have an internal clock that is pretty accurate. I used to be able to wake up whenever I wanted in the morning just by thinking of the time the night before. Now I’m not so good at that, too tired generally, but I still always know what time it is just naturally.

Meghann Riepenhoff - Littoral Drift #200 89 x 183cm 2015 Cyanotype on paper

Meghann Riepenhoff – Littoral Drift #200 89 x 183cm 2015 Cyanotype on paper

4. Being a curator as well, are there essential elements you would keep for each project? If so, why? 

Basically, I believe that a curator’s job is to be generous. It is to offer whatever you can to the artist and community around you.  So in each show I try to bring something to the artists that they want or need.  You can’t do a show if you’re riding on the back of artists. It’s the other way around.  You can only be a successful curator if you’re taking care of your community.  The word come from the Latin “curare” which means “to take care of”.  I truly believe that a curator is there to facilitate community, and foster new and creative thinking.  In Chinese the word for cuator is 策展 which translates an exhibition planner, but this misses the point. Yes, a curator plans an exhibition, but more importantly, a curator must be a leader in the community, using their generosity and developing inquisitive thought, not only an exhibition planner.

5. For this exhibition at Galerie du Monde, what would you suggest amateur art viewers do to understand the works?

The most important thing for an amateur is to look at an artwork and ask themselves does this interest me?  And then talk with the fellow people in the room, hopefully with a stranger, about why or why not this interests them. More importantly than understanding the intention behind the work is to use the work as a stimulus to understand ourselves and each other. When looking at the work share with your neighbor why you like, or dislike it and then consider what they have to say about it too.

6. What is “lush” to you? Why?

Lush to me is like richness, like a fabric that you want to run you finders though, or a person whose smell you just want to inhale, can’t get enough of and are addicted to.  It’s an endless color, bottomless. 

7. Describe yourself in three words.

Can’t get enough…

Fields of Abstraction - Curated by Justin Charles Hoover (6)

All photos credits to the gallery and the artists.


Get a sense of what is time-based art curated by Justin at this exhibition “Fields of Abstraction”

Gallery:  Galerie Du Monde

108 Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street,, Central, Hong Kong

From now until 9th Nov, 2015




As a daughter of an entrepreneur and being one herself, Grace has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as 7 years of crafting content to G Edition, her very own edition of experience sharing in work and travel. She is a full-time bag designer and manufacturer, part-time traveler, and a lover of creative crafts.

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