475 MAIN STREET | BEACON
February 19 – April 3, 2022
Saturday, February 19
Kazumi Tanaka, She Shall Mandolin, 2016, Channeled whelk shell, wood, metal string, mother of pearl, old piano key, brass, 11.5h x 4w x 3d in
Fridman Gallery is pleased to announce Beyond Silence, a solo exhibition at its Beacon location presenting sculpture and drawings by Kazumi Tanaka. Tanaka makes intricate works that are meditations on memory and loss. Beyond Silence features tiny musical instruments incorporating animal skulls, seashells, wood, the artist's own hair and other materials. Three of Tanaka’s ethereal indigo ink landscape drawings are also included in the exhibition.
Tanaka created some of the works in Beyond Silence for her series titled Messenger Y during a 2021 artist residency in Salem, Germany. Before her arrival, the residency staff assisted Tanaka in locating animal skulls in the woods around Lake Constance. The locations of the remains were recorded in photographs by Matthias Schenkl, two of which are on view in the exhibition. Upon arriving in Germany, Tanaka studied the materials and slowly transformed them into functional musical instruments, thereby producing new sounds and meanings which continue beyond the animals’ death.
Tanaka felt closely connected to the animals whose remains became her musical instruments, an experience that stayed with her when she returned home to New York. She said “I felt the existence of living creatures so close - their lives and deaths are very much near us... For some reason, the process helped me heal from some of the difficulties I encountered as if [the instruments] carry the healing power somehow. Perhaps their message can be picked up when we are open to listening within the silence.”
Tanaka’s ink drawings of woods and water represent the home or origin of the animals who transitioned into her musical instrument sculptures, while also referencing the importance of water as a resource for all life on earth. More than an illustration of a place, the drawings and the exhibition as a whole offer a nurturing psychological space to understand where we come from and our connection to the natural world.
Kazumi Tanaka’s work has been included in numerous museum exhibitions, including the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, The Miyauchi Art Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan; Neues Museum, Salem, Germany; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. Tanaka has participated in residencies at Manitoga, Garrison, NY; The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH; Civitella Ranieri Center, Umbria, Italy; Art Omi International Artists’ Residency, Ghent, NY; Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; "Salem2Salem," Salem, Germany; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Washington Post, and Art in America. In 2017 she received The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Tanaka was born in Osaka, Japan and moved to New York in 1987. She currently lives and works in Beacon, NY.
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by Alison Rooney
The Highlands Current
February 4, 2022
February 20, 2022
Beyond Silence installation view
Beyond Silence installation view
Kazumi Tanaka, Mandocello, 2021, Cockle shell, wood, mother pearl, metal string, brass, 9h x 4 ½w x 2d in
Kazumi Tanaka, Bloodless, 2021, Horseshoe Crab shell, wood, mother pearl, metal string, brass, old piano key, 10 ¼h x 4w x 1d in
Kazumi Tanaka, Cthulhu, 2020, shedded skin of bearded dragon, wood, mother of pearl, brass, metal string, old piano key, 12h x 4w x 1d in
Kazumi Tanaka, Far Away, 2022, organic Indigo Ink on paper, 22 ½h x 30w in
Kazumi Tanaka, Luster, 2022, organic Indigo Ink on paper, 22 ½h x 30w in