Who’s Hsu?

hsudawgEvery once in a while, one of us throws a question out there and it actually gets answered. So when I wrote a post with an image of a wheat-pasted dog that I came across on and near the Penn campus, I attributed the work to one of my favorite artists, Anonymous (left, “Dawg,” by Jason Hsu, photo by his friend May).
hsu, jason
Then two days ago in an email from a friend of the artist, whose name turns out to be Jason Hsu, not anonymous after all (right, “Dawg,” by Hsu, photo by his friend May).

Here’s some of what Hsu’s friend May wrote (I confess I added all the capital letters for the blog):

(My friend Jason is too shy to reply). His full name is Jason Hsu, just moved [here] from Boston; …he’s truly [an] amazing individual. I have attached the dawg that was
pasted on bowling boards [i.e. the boarded windows from when the bowling alley, Strikes, was still under construction]. The colour is a bit funny; we took it
three in the morning by the street light.


Here were the places we hit: the Upenn Museum entrance, Drexel campus, Upenn campus, Worst House [sic.]/Best House back entrance, Osage Ave. and 43rd, the Walnut and Chestnut Street bridges. We didn’t really do that much; the wheat-paste pouch got punctured as we were booking it from the Upenn sticklers. J. Hsu’s working on more and when spring comes, he’ll be out again I’m sure. The one at Best House is still up although beginning to disintegrate.

Then I got a nice note from Hsu himself, who overcame his shyness. Here’s an excerpt from his email:

I moved down to Philly from Boston in August to check out the art scene here. I feel a little bowled over with so much going on, but it feels great to be here.


The work I do is pretty much on a whim, mostly illustrative, but lately I’ve been making a few robot figures out of club flyers. You can see them on the website.

I’m not really trying to do anything overtly political with what I do, just trying to make life work for me. I believe in making something out of nothing, and trying to live in the moment of creation. I guess my concepts could go deeper, but I don’t really try to be instructionary; I’ve always tried to concentrate more on practicing what I’ve concluded rather than preach it.

If you like what I do and know of any group shows with empty spots, please let me know. I’m trying to get over hermitude.


Anyway, I liked the website (I’m a sucker for interactivity, and there it was with just a pass of the mouse) and liked the robots and liked hearing from the great beyond. As for hermitude (great word; thanks Jason), Hsu did donate to the Tsunami relief auction at the Asian Arts Initiative, so he’s figuring out the network all on his own.