Tabaimo "New Work"

James Cohan Gallery

poster for Tabaimo "New Work"

This event has ended.

Following her exhibition in the Japanese Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale this summer, Japanese video artist Tabaimo returns to James Cohan Gallery for her third solo show of recent installation works.

Currently, Tabaimo is representing Japan at the 54th Venice Biennale with her work "teleco-soup" an immersive multi-media environment that transforms the Japan Pavilion into the interior of a well, where the reflected world is inverted and boundaries between water and sky, self and world, real and imagined are fluid. To view installation images please click here.

Taking on both the roll as social critic and voice of those born in the mid 1970’s, Tabaimo strives to understand the space between the generations. As globalization has reached the island nation that once prided itself on its isolationism, the traditional life of the communal is breaking down and the contemporary desire towards individualization is taking over. Tabaimo’s work offers an unblinking look at contemporary Japanese society as a mirror in which to view herself and the other members of her generation caught in the crossfire of these societal shifts. Her works capture the anxiety that is a constant reality in a land whose terra firma is less than stable, while their tone remains detached and low-key. Her images of oft repeated motifs including cityscapes, interior spaces, hands, brains, hair, insects, plants and water hover between the disturbingly surreal and the stylishly cool.

Two of the works on view at James Cohan Gallery "BLOW" and "danDAN" were first shown in Tabaimo: Danmen a solo exhibition in 2009 that originated at the Yokohama Museum of Art and travelled to the National Museum of Art, Osaka. These two works are multi-channel video and sound installations presented on elaborately built stage sets. In addition, the exhibition features Guignorama which is a single-channel work first exhibited in the artist’s solo exhibition at the Hara Museum in 2006. This gallery exhibition marks the first time these works are shown in the United States.

The central work in the main gallery, "BLOW", 2009 depicts a watery world projected onto a curved, double half pipe ramp. The viewer is invited to walk through the seamless, multi-channel projection that moves across this bowl-shaped cross-section, in which human bones, organs and blood vessels emerge from a watery world and transform into flower blossoms that recall the origins of life emerging from the primordial soup.

In Gallery 3, danDan, 2009 is a work projected onto three angled panels that run vertically from floor to ceiling to create a deep perspective. It portrays the interior space of a housing complex of multiple dwelling units with a cut-away view into different apartments—the viewer peers into the rooms inhabited by a slob next to those of a neat-nik. In what appear to be still domestic spaces, strange events happen; birds fly inside rooms, a woman spins in a washing machine, a man walks into a refrigerator, the peck of a bird’s beak causes blood to flow from of a bed, and clothes turn into birds and fly away.

In the front gallery, Guignorama, 2006 is a single channel work projected on a wall where blue-veined hands grasp, grapple and lock together in an ever-moving diorama—the pulsating blood vessels creating an emotionally fraught landscape. The artist had severe eczema as a youth and as a result of her suffering from this itchy disease, hands and skin have come to represent the boundary between interior and exterior worlds—individual and communal, self and society.

Tabaimo was born in Kobe, Japan in 1975.

[Image: Tabaimo "Blow" (2009) video installation]



from September 09, 2011 to October 29, 2011

Opening Reception on 2011-09-15 from 18:00 to 20:00



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