Hugo Lami Portugal, b. 1994
‘I research the impact of technology in our society, firstly to keep myself attached to reality, but with the purpose of hopefully reminding people that the devices we use are tools and that they must be used by us, rather than let ourselves be used by them.
Hugo Lami’s work peers into the digital and virtual absurdity of contemporary culture, evoking our social dependency on technological devices and social media. His paintings portray editable environments of 3D construction software, with the purpose of re-embodying virtual tools. The sculptures and installations, on the other hand, investigate the hardware of our technological evolution and by fusing concepts and objects, while displacing them in time, the works create innovative narratives of possible Utopian and Dystopian futures that could quite easily become a reality. Lami says: ‘I love technology, but I also hate it. Every new device gives me hope that maybe that’s the one that is going to change my life. It never is.’
Hugo's work unfolds into painting, sculpture, multimedia installation, performance, and most recently into Digital art through means of an Augmented Reality App that expands the paintings as virtual sculpture.
‘I research the impact of technology in our society, firstly to keep myself attached to reality, but with the purpose of hopefully reminding people that the devices we use are tools and that they must be used by us, rather than let ourselves be used by them. I see painting as an expansion of a mind while sculpture expands as a physical body into our world. Reality has become more digital, and what was once seen as the virtual, starts to merge with our physical world validated by a technological dominance in our lives. As people (profiles), replace places (site), online events, meetings, happenings create substance for the virtual reality to be augmented into our own. The questions that drive Lami's research and practice: Is a painting with Augmented Reality still a painting if it can only be fully seen through a device? Is virtual sculpture still sculpture if it doesn’t exist in the real world? Where does one begin and end? What is the future of Art? What is our Future?’
Hugo Lami has a Masters in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art and a Degree in Painting from the Lisbon Fine Arts Academy. Lami has been exhibiting in galleries and institutional spaces across Europe since 2014. He was awarded the Public’s Choice Award at VIA Arts Prize, London, 2019, and made his first public sculpture in 2018 in Ermioni, Greece. In 2020 he was an Artist in Residence at the Muse at 269 in London and worked in a commission for the organisation Sustainability First. His next exhibition will be ‘No Reino da Nuvens’ in May at the Museum MU.SA in Sintra and ‘Re-connect’ in June at Bermondsey Project Space commissioned by UK Power Networks in London.
We are proud to say that Hugo Lami was the irrefutable winner of the 2021 Neon Gallery Art Award.