Untitled #16 finished in August 2015
American sculpture artist David Han, from San Jose, California, creates unique artworks from scrap metal. Every piece of metal is hand shaped and polished. He rarely uses machine made parts. His work is strongly influenced by the shapes and patterns found in nature, but also by automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft and all things aerodynamic.
David's mother is an artist whose paintings are widely collected and his father is a engineer who worked for the biggest iron factory in China before his retirement. He always credits his parents for giving him the heart of an artist and the mind of an engineer. When you see David's work, both these gifts become clear.
David was born in Beijing, China. Under his mother's guidance, he began his formal training in art at the age of nine and continued until the age of twenty when he immigrated to the U.S. Over the next 14 years, David pursued a career in graphic and industrial design and 3D illustration. All the while, however, he realized there was a voice in his heart, buried but never silenced, proclaiming "I want to be a artist!!"
In 2010, David finished his first sheet metal sculpture. Drawing on his many years of formal artistic training and multi-faceted design experience, he began creating a totally unique style of sculptural expression! Over the next several years, while completing several more sculptures, he continued to develop and refine both his style and his technique. In 2014 he decided to devote himself exclusively to his sculptural art.
People may ask: Why metal? Why sheet metal? Why handcraft each piece?! In his twenties, David used to make paper sculptures, but he soon realized that paper was not the right medium for the kind of work he wanted to create. 20 years later, he found in sheet metal a medium that allows him to develop his personal style and create his one of a kind sculptures " Metal is cool!", David says. "It's hard, but can be made soft when you 'love' it enough. And it's very forgiving. You can shape it in different ways. And metal can be polished to make it shine or to bring out subtle textures. I love it!"
David feels it's essential to make every piece of his sculpture by hand, partially inspired by the way in which car-lovers have traditionally customized their vehicles. Working by hand is the only way to create the organic shapes found in nature, David believes. "That's why each of my sculptures looks so alive."
David is member of San Jose Techshop, where his work has attracted a huge amount of attention. People always like to stop by his work bench to admire his work and ask questions. The most frequently asked questions have been "what is it?" or "what is the name of this sculpture?" David doesn't title his works and prefers to let admirers choose their own names for each sculpture he creates. He says " Whatever happens between the artwork and the observer belongs to them only. The artwork itself is a window; a path to the freedom of the imagination. People these days have so many rules and regulations to follow in the way they live, work and think. I like to create things that are visually arresting and exciting, that free the imagination to look forward to some fanciful future or back to some good time in the past. Each of my sculptures is a time machine; it takes you away from reality."