Posts from the ‘Infinity’ category

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The new exhibition concept:

You can see the artworks here: Gallery Sun pieces


Emergent Nets: Optical Sutras is a series of artworks on paper and metal of geometric constructions. The title of the series and exhibition combines two concepts – Emergence, and Sutras.

In philosophy and systems theory, Emergence occurs when “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” meaning the whole has properties its parts do not have. These properties come about because of interactions among the parts. Emergence plays a central role in theories of integrative levels and of complex systems. For instance, the phenomenon of life as studied in biology is an emergent property of chemistry.

The Sanskrit word Sutra means “string or thread”. The root of the word is siv, that which sews and holds things together and is related to sūnā meaning “woven”. In literature, sūtra means a distilled collection of syllables and words, an aphorism, rule or direction, hanging together like threads with which the teachings of ritual, philosophy, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven.


These artworks similarly, are composed by following short geometric rules that weave together to create an optical effect, to make a “kasina” – a Buddhist term for a visual object of meditation. The result is a complex net, path or structure, which has emerged by following a series of rules or procedures, and which possess variable beautiful effects which are revealed only at particular distances from the work. The details appear to be important, but they exist only to embody the system. The closer you get, the less meaning there is, while the further away you stand, the easier it is to comprehend.

The Emergent Net series are not only perceptual artworks, exploring visual phenomena, they are also intended to inspire philosophical contemplation. The winding paths, hidden patterns, and ordered complexity prompt musings on the nature of the cosmos and our challenge to see it clearly.


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I will be having two events in Taipei this October, a solo exhibition with all new content at Sun Gallery, several pieces from the Strange Creatures series in Art Taipei, and a talk too.

Save the dates, and I hope to see you there

Emergent Nets: Optical Sutras
Gallery Sun
2018.10.27 Sat 六 – 11.17 Sat 六
VIP Opening 貴賓招待會 10.26 Fri 五 6pm
You can see the artworks here: Gallery Sun pieces
Strange Creatures
Gallery Sun 尚畫廊 L04 Art Taipei
Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1
You can see the artworks here: Art Taipei pieces
Artist Talk 藝術家分享會 10.26 Fri 五 3-5pm
TAIPEI 101 International Conference Center
Registration required 名額有限,請先報名
+886 2 23257733
More details coming up once I have organized the logistics. Do check out my instagram page @richardhassellart for more updates too.
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I just received some photos from the curator of the exhibition in Italy, where several of my prints were exhibited. Details of the exhibition are below:

FILLING THE VOID Escher and beyond

StadtGalerie Galleriy Civica – Brixen/Bressanone
From January 20th to February 28th 2017

Many know the works of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, addressing the tessellation of the plane. The image of an insect (a horseman, a bird or a dog …) repeats itself, covering the plane completely without leaving gaps. One can only admire such talent: if we take a closer look, there is even more to discover. These tiles are reducible to regular polygons (triangles, squares, hexagons) or combinations of them. Escher is the most popular, but not the only figurative artist exploring the “regular division of the plane” as scientists would say. Before him, there was Koloman Moser, exponent of the Viennese Art Nouveau, followed by several contemporary artists such as Andrew Crompton, David Hop, Hans Kuiper, Francine Champagne, Alain Nicolas, Robert Fathauer and Sam Brade.
The exhibition “Filling the void – Escher and beyond” taking place at the city gallery of Brixen, presents some of the graphical works of these artists: in total 26 works, most of them prints. An information sheet describing its particular characteristics accompanies every single work. Amongst the works exposed, there are eight tessellations of M.C. Escher and some aperiodic tessellations by Richard Hassell.

All M.C. Escher works and text are copyright of the M.C. Escher company, Baarn, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. M.C. Escher ® is a registered trademark

The images below courtesy of the curator Federico Guidiceandrea, and some available online.

Thanks to Francine Champagne, a fellow exhibitor, for a correction to this post, you can see her work here:



Sha Kua

Sha Kua

Sha Kua Detail

Sha Kua

In this tessellation, sharks arise from the deep sea vents and circle menacingly at the surface. The name of the tessellation refers to the Ba Gua, a Chinese religious motif incorporating the eight trigrams of the I Ching, arranged octagonally around a symbol denoting the balance of yin and yang, or around a mirror. In this case it is printed on a reflective silver aluminium panel, so is both mirror and motif.


Tessellation based on the apocryphal story told by Stephen Hawking in “A Brief History of Time”

Turtles All The Way Down


Turtles All The Way Down

In Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time, he recounts a story:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

In the print, a circle of 9 turtles (an auspicious number in Hindu mythology) stand on the backs of 9 more turtles…and so on spiraling into infinity in the centre of the page. In the Gold variant of the print, The spiral path is overlaid in gold by textile craftmen from Central Java, with the kind assitance of acclaimed Indonesian textile artist Baron Manangsan, a detail is below:

Turtles all the Way Down - Detail of Gold Leaf

Turtles All The Way Down – Detail of Gold Leaf

Bigger and Smaller I - Lemon Tea Variant

Bigger and Smaller I – Lemon Tea Variant

Bigger and Smaller I  

The title refers to Escher’s Smaller and Smaller print. This tiling uses a 5-fold geometry, as is obvious from the pentagonal profile, and is based on the same Kite tile as that used in the Penrose tiling. The tiles emerge and disappear into numerous singularities.

A different colour variant is on display in the Art Science Museum at the Marina Bay Sands in the exhibition:

Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder

Richard says:  This fractal is not shown at its limits, although in this arrangement, it will approach a decagonal limit, which has sides in the proportion of the Golden Ratio. However, in order to proceed to the limit, another tile is necessary to resolve an anomaly where the tiles do not tile the plane without gaps or overlaps. This tiling, with over 400,000 tiles, is under construction but has reached a different kind of limit – my computer processing power.  With luck this will be resolved within the next year by Moore’s law.

As in the Penrose tiling, the colouring with minimal number of colours does not relate to the geometry, instead it applies a kind of camouflage distribution, which to a large degree visually masks the rotational symmetry. This combination of symmetry and randomness is very appealing to me.