Opening The Mind Drawer
“My works can only be completed together with my viewers.”
Dive into the imaginary scenes of Japanese artist Tabaimo as she explores the existence and mental states of the modern human. Read more …
Tabaimo is very aware of her audience. “Each viewer can create their own story from my piece.” Through narratives that seem both humoristic, grotesque, and melancholic, Tabaimo creates storylines that evolve around modern life in Japan and her own generation’s attempts to navigate between the harsh realities of our present time and the country’s tradition-bound values.
“When my badly drawn pictures move, you get unexpected results.” As she explains, something unexpected happens when she animates and puts her drawings into motion. Her animations grow out of thousands of computer-animated handmade drawings. They are presented as part of scenographic installations built inside the exhibition space, drawing the audience in as active participants in the work. She takes inspiration from old Japanese woodcuts and uses the colours from Ukiyo-e to create a special ambiance in her works.
“The public and private have vague boundaries. Sometimes the boundaries almost disappear.” Her works typically occur in the big city’s home or public spaces. In the video, you can experience the work public conVENience (2006), which takes place in a public toilet. As viewers, we can observe or participate in the surreal actions unfolding in this intimate but public space. In her work haunted house (2003), the audience becomes a “voyeur” to scenes and actions that fascinate but are potentially transgressive and deeply private.
Even though her work has been proclaimed political, Tabaimo explains that it is only sometimes intentional. “People told me my art is political. But I wasn’t conscious about social issues; I didn’t intend my art to be political.” Instead, she points out the vital interplay and interaction between her works and the viewers. “If a viewer senses political elements in my work, that’s because my work opens the mind drawers of the viewers, which has political concerns inside.”
Tabaimo was born in 1975 in Hyogo, Japan. In 2011, she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale with the work teleco-soup. She has participated in several international biennials and group exhibitions, including at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Tabaimo has also held solo exhibitions at museums across the world, including, amongst others: Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris, Parasol Unit in London, the San José Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
Malte Bruun Fals interviewed Tabaimo during the installation of her exhibition ‘Nest’ at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Camera: Jakob Solbakken
Produced and edit by: Malte Bruun Fals
Copyright Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023. Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.
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