July 22, 2014

Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion


Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion

August 1– November 9, 2014


Public Reception: Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Members-only Artist Talk: Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

For the PDF version, click here
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents new work by Artist-in-Residence Kazumi Tanaka, a Japanese-American sculptor based in Beacon, New York. Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion opens on Friday, August 1, 2014. FWM will host a public reception on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, as well as a Press and Members Preview featuring an artist talk at 5:30 pm on the First Floor at FWM, 1214 Arch Street. This exhibition presents an accumulation of memories, customs, and traditional Japanese fabric processes that tells a story of family, tradition, and one’s self.­­­­­­
Kazumi Tanaka is known for creating detailed and finely-crafted objects using a variety of materials such as wood, hair, metal, and Japanese fabrics. Recently, the artist produced a series of miniature Tansu (traditional Japanese storage cabinets) inspired by her memories of her childhood in Japan. The initial idea for her project at FWM was to examine what is typically put into and taken out of these bureaus. However, as Tanaka states in her exhibition journal Mother and Child Reunion, When I am looking for something, often I find something else along the way. It catches my attention completely and I forget what I was originally looking for. Ultimately, this discovery leads me to find what I am really looking for…”
Throughout Tanaka’s childhood, her mother often told stories of their past; this storytelling of life and tradition influenced her work. Tanaka explains, “If you have a story and do not tell it to others, it remains just a thought. And by sharing with others it becomes storytelling.”
It is an old tradition in Japan that one day the mother passes each of her children his or her own umbilical cord as a way to tell them, ‘indeed you were my child.’ This is where we all start, the mother’s belly. I feel that is a universal truth.
                                                             — Kazumi Tanaka, exhibition journal for Mother and Child Reunion
Last year, after her 83-year-old mother had a stroke, Tanaka returned to her home in Osaka, Japan. While together, the artist’s mother experienced an extraordinary recovery. She asked, as she had many times before, if Tanaka wanted to take her umbilical cord, this time adding, “while I can still remember.” Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion will share this story.
While in Japan, Tanaka researched traditional Japanese fabric dye methods. In February 2014, she traveled to the mountain village of Miyama, Kyoto Prefecture, where she visited Hiroyuki Shindo, a traditional Japanese dye master and artist who specializes in indigo dye using Sukumo (traditional Japanese indigo dyestuff). Tanaka continued her travels to learn the basics of Shibori-Zome (traditional Japanese resist and dye techniques). In May 2014, as recommended by Shindo, Tanaka worked with artist Rowland Ricketts at Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, Indiana University, who had been trained the traditional indigo farming and dying process in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. These processes and fabric manipulation methods are used in the new work Kazumi Tanaka created during her residency at FWM. This exhibition will also include a video documenting Tanaka’s travels, her collaboration with FWM and the artisans of traditional Japanese dye methods, and her recollections of her childhood and culture.
Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion is the initial exhibition of FWM’s ongoing series, Convergence: Declarations of Independence, which presents to the Philadelphia community the energy and creativity of artists working outside traditional centers of the art world.
Major funding for this exhibition is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional funding by the National Endowment for the Arts, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM).
About the Artist
Kazumi Tanaka (b. 1962, Osaka, Japan) graduated from Osaka University in 1985 before relocating to New York in 1987, where she studied sculpture at the New York Studio School (1987 – 1990). Employing both ancient and modern sculpting techniques, Tanaka creates intricate and conceptually complex works that often involve childhood memories of Japan and address cultural differences between Eastern and Western livelihoods. She has exhibited at museums and galleries around the world. Solo exhibitions include presentations at the Kent Gallery between 1995 and 2003; as well as shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1993); Beacon Project Space, Beacon, New York (2002); and Hudson Beach Glass Gallery, Beacon, New York (2011). Tanaka’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including A Labor of Love, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1996); The Quiet in the Land, at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art (1997); Model World at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2002); and Salem2Salem, at Neues Museum, Salem, Germany (2012). Most recently, her work has been included in the group exhibition Silence, at Masters & Pelavin Gallery, New York (2012). Tanaka has participated in numerous residencies, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine (1990); the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine (1996); in Salem, Germany (2010, 2012); Art Omi in New York (2013); and is completing a residency as part of a 2014 Visual Arts Fellowship at the Citivella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. She lives and works in Beacon, New York.
The Thursday, October 2nd reception will also celebrate the following exhibitions:
FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Eighth Floor
Venturi, Scott Brown and Grandmother: Patterns for Production, featuring work by the firm of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates
On view:  Saturday, September 13—Sunday, November 9, 2014
FWM, 1214 Arch Street, Second Floor
Question Bridge: Black Males created by Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair
On view:  Saturday, September 13—Sunday, November 9, 2014
The New Temporary Contemporary, 1222 Arch Street
Joy Feasley and Paul Swenbeck: A Hatchet to Kill Old Ugly
On view: Thursday, October 2, 2014—Sunday, January 4, 2015
About The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is the only museum of its kind, offering internationally renowned artists the resources to create new work in experimental materials. Artists come from all media—including sculpture, installation, video, painting, ceramics, and architecture—and use FWM’s facilities and technical expertise to create works of art that they could not create on their own. Research, construction, and fabrication occur on-site in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see works of art from conception to completion. FWM’s permanent collections include not only complete works of art, but also material research, samples, prototypes, and photography and video of artists making and speaking about their work. Access to the creative process provides visitors with a point of entry into understanding challenging works of contemporary art. FWM offers an unparalleled experience to those young and old, including the most significant artists of our time, students, and the general public.
The programs of The Fabric Workshop and Museum are supported by Agnes Gund; Amy Stone, Art Ancora; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Arcadia Foundation; The Barra Foundation; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation; Claneil Foundation; The Dedalus Foundation, Inc.; Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation; E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; Edna W. Andrade Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation; The Honickman Foundation; Independence Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; The Judith Rothschild Foundation; Knight Foundation; LEF Foundation; LLWW Foundation; Longwood Plantation Foundation, Inc.; Louis N. Cassett Foundation; Mondriaan Foundation; Museums ConnectSM made possible by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Alliance of Museums; National Endowment for the Arts; New Millennium Charitable Foundation; The New York Community Trust; Nimoy Foundation; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; PNC Foundation; PNC Arts Alive; Public Funds from the Netherlands Cultural Service; The Quaker Chemical Foundation; Samuel S. Fels Fund; Individual Trustee Discretionary Grant, of the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation; Uplands Family Foundation; and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
For more information, or to request images, please contact Michele Bregande, Assistant to the Directors, at michele@fabricworkshopandmuseum.org, or 215.561.8888.