The New York Times, June 11, 2006
By KAY LARSON
Up the California coast, in Half Moon Bay, the filmmakers and designers David and Hi-Jin Hodge recounted how they discovered itinerant Tibetan monks making a sand mandala in a tent in town. ”I said, ‘What’s a mandala?’ ” Mr. Hodge recalled.
Mesmerized by the monks’ exacting application of streams of colored sand through tiny funnels, they returned every day. At the end of 10 days of creating exquisite beauty, the monks dragged a brush through the sand and returned it to the ocean, stunning onlookers. ”It was arresting because, being artists, people who make things, to spend all that time and say, ‘O.K., let’s burn it ‘ ” Mr. Hodge said.
”We were struggling with impermanent things in our own life,” Ms. Hodge said. They had just put Mr. Hodge’s mother in a home for the elderly, she explained, and were getting rid of a lot of things she had been attached to. ”We thought, why don’t we interview other people about the topic of impermanence? It was a way of researching.
” The result is their first video installation. They started off intending to conduct just a few interviews but ended up with 122. As word of the project spread, a maharaja showed up at their door; his voice and image now join that of a Jamaican window washer, a Web master, a 12-year-old boy, a Trappist monk, an ex-gang member, a Presbyterian minister and others on 12 small video iPods perched atop tripods arranged in a circle.
Mr. Hodge, a jazz musician, said he was deeply saddened by the death of the saxophonist Stan Getz, who was a friend. ”Why does it have to be this way?” he asked at the time. His project has helped him become more accepting — a message, he said, ”you could apply to everyday life.”
Or perhaps everyday life itself is the message, brought to new awareness.
Tribune art critic, November 2, 2006
By Alan G. Artner
The most fashionable things here are some of the artists’ means, such as impermanent installation, video and the iPod. But what the artists attempt to say with them is usually removed from the pop-culture entertainment that now prevails in art and the solipsistic withdrawal it has helped breed. The majority of works on view, no matter the medium, are literally about life and death and how we perceive each of them. It presumes, as art more strongly linked to fashion does not, that we are fully sentient beings as capable of impacting positively the life of others as deeply living our own. For the most part, then, this is art with a spiritual “message,” which means some will dismiss it as New Age visual babble. Inward-looking contemporary art that does not parade ego often meets that fate. But there are many arresting, exploratory pieces here, created by artists from 25 countries. The works that use their materials most inventively and poetically come from Katarina Wong (installation), El Anatsui (tapestry), Laurie Anderson (video/sculpture), Long-Bin Chen (sculpture), Lewis de Soto (inflatable), Kirsten Bahrs Janssen (interactive installation), Sanford Biggers (video and jewelry) and David & Hi-Jin Hodge (iPod installation).
Lifescapes Oct 2006
By Shana Nys Dambrot
David and Hi-Jin Hodge are responsible for the show’s most powerful piece, “Impermanence: The Time of Man.” They recorded 120 interviews on video, and their library of Westerners’ thoughts on the nature of immortality and impermanence were projected on a circle of a dozen video iPods. The installation is a circle of small screens mounted at eye level; all are plugged into a single monitor at the center, whose cords and patterns radiate outward, representing unity. The sound tracks move in and out of chaotic simultaneity, periodically resolving themselves into single streams with sound bytes such as “…damage is permanent, creativity is impermanent; it can be damaged; don’t be a vandal…” emerging from the gentle din. In its union of an ancient oral tradition and cutting edge technology, functional form with expressive composition, suggestion and explication, this work embodies in itself the most poignant aspects of the entire program.
Yoga Journal, June 2006
By Richard Rosen
At the conclusion of the exhibit, the artists’ work will be either auctioned or offered for sale, with the proceeds benefiting the committee of 100 for Tibet and the Dalai Lama Foundation. It their mission statement, the Project’s organizeers say they hope their work will act as a catalyst for peace, even as “peace will always be elusive, or missing, in our world.”
It’s an interesting point, say husband and wife filmmakers David and Hi-Jin Hodge. Will there ever be peace on the planet? The couple attempt to answer that question in a video installment, “impermanence: The Time of Man, ” which features 108 interviews on the future of peace. What the Hodges found was that most people thought it to be unattainable. But, says David Hodge, Perhaps peace is possible if art can be used as a talking point that stimulates an internal dialogue on the subject. “It starts with the individual,” Hodge says. “and if someone can find peace within themselves, they tend to create peace all around them”.
YOGA Chicago Jan 2007
By Anna Poplawska
Husband and wife artist team David and Hijin Hodge created another video piece entitled Impermanence: The Time of Man, in which they taped 122 people talking about impermanence. David Hodge explains, “The recognition of impermanence is large. It puts brings you face to face with the unknown and inconceivable. Even after creating this artwork, I’m still not sure if I’ve fully grasped its scope.”
The Mercury News, 12/11/2007
By Sara Wykes
Several artists in the “Missing Peace” exhibit are from the Bay Area – one of the show’s most popular works was created by David and Hi-Jin Hodge of Half Moon Bay. The couple asked more than 100 people to talk about change. The process would stop, the couple agreed, when their subjects began to duplicate one another. But that never happened. And when technical problems led the Hodges to use iPods with video screens to display the many mini-films, this practical choice provided an appropriate visual wallop for our gadget-culture weary eyes.
Miami New Times, Nov 5th 2009
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
The show opens with a sound and video installation by filmmakers David Hodge and Hi-Jin Hodge. In Impermanence: The Time of Man, they used 16 speakers and a 16-channel video on iPods to explore the temporal nature of life. For their eye-catching piece, the duo interviewed 120 people to gather their thoughts on the fleeting nature of life, who we are as human beings, and how people coexist in the world today.
Standing in front of the crowd of talking heads that appear on the tiny, business card-sized screens, viewers might become confused by the overlapping voices drowning out each other’s opinions. At first, the crowing cacophony is reminiscent of a raucous City of Miami commission meeting, until the voices reach a crescendo and almost sound like prayerful chants. The piece evokes the sense of people coming together to celebrate the universal aspirations that bind us in a common humanity, rather than the seemingly inexorable differences that separate us.
“This collection of interviews recorded in both book and on DVD will be beneficial to both the people who are ignorant of the idea of impermanence and those who are well acquainted with this concept. After reading this book and watching the DVD, those who are new to the theory of impermanence will realize the impermanent nature of things and how to face changes in life, and those who have good understanding of this theory will think deeper and wider on this concept.”
The Tibet Journal, March 11 2010
“You will be surprised…touched and inspired as participants express themselves on aspects of impermanence such as awareness, peace, presence and death…(An) unusual, original and uplifting book-artists using technology to speak from and to our collective heart and soul.”
Light of Consciousness, Summer 2009
“A fine documentary of the modern condition.”
The Bookwatch, April 2009
“It could be seen as a visual-auditory experience of Dependent Origination with the medium becoming the subject and vice-versa. A beautifully crafted book inviting one to experience the uncluttered peace required for quiet reflection. The artists were challenged to reduce the abstract topic of impermanence and change into tangible form – to give the impermanent a permanent footing. They succeed in capturing fleeting moments of thought as they arose in an array of human beings and stringing them together like a necklace of pearls. Just as each pearl makes individual ‘sense’, but the whole string creates a different but related impact, so too in this book, the individual responses carry personalized meanings, but taken together, capture the essence of the universe.”
“… focuses on the Buddhist concept of change which teaches that instability, change, impermanence, call it what you will, is a fact of life. Accepting that sands inevitably shift is a necessary path to stability and peace of mind. Impermanence is a valuable way station on this rocky, cliff-hanging journey… a mosaic of faces and a soft cacophony of voices. It is interactive. Let the film take control …. you are launched into the exhibit as if you were there.”
Feminist review Apr 2009