When he is not creating jewelry, Hans Brumann wears his other hat as a sculptor.
In restless moments nowadays, he scours junkyards in Cavite, sees random images during these jaunts and turns them into sculpture using discarded materials he encounters.
One piece he calls “Bouquet” is made of steel, chain rings and other bicycle parts fashioned into flowers and painted in saturated colors.
“Pyramid” appears to be a heap of steel bars that randomly fell from the sky to form an awkward but intriguing geometric figure. It stands on its hind legs, waiting for the cue to gallop off to somewhere else.
“Bird” reminds one of an extremely fabulous steel crane standing on one foot.
Brumann’s witty pieces, collectively called “Divertimento,” are showcased at the mezzanine of Makati Shangri-La, venue of the ongoing Lobby Lounge Luxe series of Hiraya Gallery.
Art patrons immediately picked up five of the sculptor’s 16 pieces when these were unveiled on Nov. 29.
Although many of the works still use Brumann’s trademark mother-of-pearl and kamagong, the exhibit’s title apparently stems from his diversion to steel as a principal material.
“I want to make some new materials and steel is a challenge,” Brumann said. “It’s not that easy. You need good workers for that. Once in a while during the work, when they make one piece, I have to check and take pictures [if I need to] correct it. I cannot do that myself so the artisans are on standby. But when you look at an entire work, they look like one solid piece.”
He borrowed elements from jewelry-making in creating “Divertimento” by eyeing each work as a piece of jewelry as it is being designed.
“It starts like jewelry,” he pointed out. “If you notice [these works are like jewelry] in a miniature form. Now I do it the other way around. Now I make bigger things. See the ‘Pyramid,’ I made a similar brooch like that before.”
Brumann said the randomness of junkyards provides images that provoke interest.
“This is the next step I want to do,” he said. “All these items I used are from junkyards. I go to junkyards and collect interesting items. In Cavite there are many junkyards and I go from one to the other.
“The materials are usually [sourced from] motorbikes and bicycles. The round flower on top of ‘Bouquet’ is from a bicycle wheel.”
But because steel is a heavy material and usually comes in huge pieces, Brumann must consider first an idea or design that can fit into small spaces in homes when he translates steel into art.
“Not everyone wants to buy a big piece,” he said. “Smaller ones are more appropriate for the rooms. These are things you have to consider before you go ahead. Also, steel is very heavy. If you make a 10-foot steel sculpture, it will be very hard to transport.”
“Divertimento” by Hans Brumann shows at Lobby Lounge Luxe by Hiraya Gallery at the Makati Shangri-La mezzanine until Dec. 15.