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Tomoko Takahashi

(b. 1966)


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(1966– )

Japanese installation artist, born in Tokyo. She studied at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School and now lives and works in London. Her work consists of installations of accumulated detritus. While working on a project, she insists on being on site for twenty-four hours a day. Like Schwitters and Buren, she bases her practice on fusing the studio and the place of exhibition. She is actually highly selective in her obsessive collecting, tending to avoid objects with logos and powerful brand images. For an installation at the Serpentine Gallery in 2005, my play station at the Serpentine, she made it known that she was interested in collecting old games but not dolls. She also used items from the Royal Parks, including a rusty boat, various items from the gallery's stores, and refuse from renovation work at the nearby Victoria and Albert Museum. On the final day the public were invited to take part in the dismantling of the exhibition by taking objects home. Some find the sheer lack of any obvious narrative or logic in the installations frustrating. The critic Jonathan Jones went so far as to describe her career as a ‘cruel joke played by the art world on someone you suspect may be a complete innocent’ (The Guardian, 28 February 2005). However, Rochelle Steiner has argued that objects are not merely stacked up and points to the repetitive visual rhythms and use of sound and light as evidence of a subtle artistic organization.

Further Reading

R. Steiner, Tomoko Takahashi (2005)

Subjects: Art.


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