Through narratives that collapse the real and the fantastic, the internationally renowned Japanese artist Tabaimo explores the existence and mental states of the modern human.
The exhibition presents five large-scale installations, consisting of video works and a series of paintings and drawings that invite the audience on a journey through real and imagined, almost surreal, universes. Tabaimo has also created a site-specific work for the exhibition drawn directly on to the walls.
Using intelligence, humor and at times bluntly grotesque imagery, Tabaimo explores 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. Her work typically plays out in the home or in the public space of the metropolitan city, where she, taking her starting point in everyday situations, transforms the familiar and safe into bizarre and at times directly uncanny situations. The work public conVENience (2006) takes place in a public toilet, and as viewer, we can choose either to observe or to participate in the surreal actions that unfold in this intimate, but public space. In the work haunted house (2003), the audience becomes a ”voyeur” to scenes and actions that fascinate, but that also are potentially transgressive and deeply private.
Tabaimo is one of the most important artists in Japan of her generation, with a long international exhibition history. Her animations grow out of thousands of handmade drawings that are subsequently computer-animated and presented as part of scenographic installations, built inside the exhibition space, that draw the audience in as active participants in the work. Since her breakthrough more than 20 years ago, Tabaimo continues to find inspiration in sources that range from traditional Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) to pop-cultural forms like manga and anime.
This site-specific exhibition at GL STRAND is conceived with the architecture and history of the building as its prinicpal point of departure. Based on her interest in the relationship between people in social enviroments and the distinction between public and private, Tabaimo has selected the works for the exhibition to initiate a dialogue with the history of GL STRAND. In this respect, the exhibition takes into account the building’s history as a residence for members of the bourgeoisie as well as its present status as a public art institution.
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 a number of 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.