Born in 1994, Portugal. Lives and works in London.
Lami’s work looks into technology and energy, evoking the dependency on our devices and social media to connect with each other. His sculptures and installations investigate the hardware of our technological evolution while his paintings take apart the content of softwares that are supposed to improve our life.
"In my work, I combine history and mythology in contrast with the technological and cultural evolution of our time. I have always been drawn towards sci-fi and fantasy worlds that reimagine reality under different paradigms. I love technology, but I also hate it. The promise of a perfect relationship given by the amenities of each new device that comes to the market gives me hope that maybe that’s the one that is going to change my life. It never is."
When machines stop working, or when a better version comes along and they get replaced, they become objects. Objects can be sculptures. A machine becomes an object when we stop believing it has the power of giving us the best it can give. Their myth doesn’t live beyond their function, or so it seems. I see in the materials I use not just their physical attributes, I see the nature where they came from and nature where they are going. I see how they become monuments and artifacts to a world that is transforming through our hands. I feel responsible to make them stand for themselves, so I rebuild them, add them to other materials, recycle parts, bend them until they look like they’ve never had any other purpose or function beyond standing there, for you. To think, to stare.
We’ve always tried to erase out of our memory what we don't want to talk about, but within the Digital everything is one click away of momentary erasure and/or perpetually existing. I paint the virtual to bring myself back to the present. A painting is an image that lives on a surface rather than a screen, not as a denial but rather as an expansion of my mind into a physical body. Whatever decisions I take of erasing something, assuming a mistake, everything stays within that canvas. It exists in the present to whoever is there to see it, static in its body, but not in its meaning.
My research is based on a work of ‘digital’ archeology of the past, the present, and speculation of the future, in order to understand and configure a reality that does not fit exactly in an analog or digital dimension. Taking this as a starting point it is essential to work with the artifacts, utensils, and traces of a species that is undergoing a paradigm shift. Not only by identifying and materializing what was, but also what is happening now and what is idealized that will happen in the future.
Hugo Lami is sponsored by the company Futuroon and is at the moment working on a commission for Sustainability First and UK Power Networks, developing paintings and sculptures that think of energy and connection beyond its functional meaning. Art is a tool that has connected us since the beginning and has the power to connect us with the Past and probably with the Future.
Next exhibitions: May 2021 'Re-connecting' Bermondsey Project Space in London, UK; May 2021 'No Reino das Nuvens' at Museum MU.SA in Sintra, Portugal
2017 - 2019 Masters in Sculpture at Royal College of Art London, United Kingdom
2016 - 2017 Guest Student at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany
2012 - 2016 Degree in Fine Arts at Lisbon University Lisbon, Portugal
2015 Erasmus at Leeds University Leeds, United Kingdom
2020 ‘Grain’ in Museu da Antiga Capitania Aveiro, Portugal
Selected Solo exhibitions
2020 ‘Reconnect’ at Bermondsey Project Space London, United Kingdom
2020 ‘before the Multiverse’ (on view in website) Lisbon, Portugal
2019 ‘Degree Show’ at Royal College of Art London, United Kingdom
2017 ‘Klangkörper’ at Antichambre Düsseldorf, Germany
2016 ‘A Day’ at Gallery Graça Brandão Lisbon, Portugal
2015 ‘Shadows of an Essence’ at UNL Lisbon, Portugal
Selected Group Exhibitions
2020 ‘AiR’ at The Muse at 269 Gallery London, United Kingdom
2019 ‘VIA Arts Prize’ at the Brazilian embassy London, United Kingdom
2018 ‘Digital Gods’ at Weltkunstzimmer Düsseldorf, Germany
2018 ‘Work in Process’ at MUTE art gallery Lisbon, Portugal
2018 ‘Essays, (In)flexibility of the Natural’ at Ministry of Environment Lisbon, Portugal
2017 ‘Viga’ at Quadrum Gallery Lisbon, Portugal
2016 Digital Display at Tate Modern, ‘What is the Future of Art?’ London, United Kingdom
2016 ‘Contemporary Crisis’ at Bunkerkirche Düsseldorf, Germany
Prizes / Awards
2020 Freelands Foundation Emergency Fund Award London, United Kingdom
2020 Studio Prize at The Muse at 269 London, United Kingdom
2019 VIA Arts Prize Public’s Choice Award London, United Kingdom
2019 Distinction Royal College of Art London, United Kingdom
Artist Residencies / Commissions
2020 Commission for UK Power Networks London, United Kingdom
2020 AiR The Muse at 269 London, United Kingdom
2019 Grão art residency in art and sustainability Aveiro, Portugal
2018 SALINE art residency for Public Sculpture Ermioni, Greece
2021 'Exit' published by Ludvig Rage (printed)
...To be updated
Interview to RTP International, 2020