press release

Hales Gallery is pleased to announce Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi’s second solo show at the gallery. Takahashi will make a new installation in the gallery space over a 10 day period preceding the show. As with her installations, Takahashi starts with a set of rules that structure the overall composition. For this show the challenge is not to buy any of the objects that will be part of the work, relying on materials that she has hoarded over time. Her thoughts for this show are scrawled on the announcement card and have become a replacement for the regular pattern. For this exhibition Takahashi has divided the gallery into two separate rooms and has also split the works for sale and the installed piece.

Takahashi’s installations have been described as organised chaos. Each work is triggered by her response to a particular site or personal situations and is composed of unwanted and at times obsolete everyday objects. Trained as a painter at Tama Art University Tokyo and finishing her art education at Goldsmiths College of Art, London, Takahashi takes the entire space into account. She develops an internal logic which she uses to order and compose objects within this designated space. The resulting installations are like complex three dimensional collages, where the gallery serves as both the artist’s studio and a viewing space.

Takahashi’s ultimately ephemeral work creates platforms to view objects in a different light. She gives each element a new purpose and in her own words strives to ‘liberate things from imposed rules’. Takahashi is a collector of the most obsessive nature, but she is highly selective when hunting for materials for her work. Objects are chosen for their intended functions, others are chosen to help highlight and animate different aspects and ideas within the work. Rhythm is shaped by Takahashi in her work through repetition of colour, components and sometimes sound, created by the whirring and clanking of electrical components.

The use of every day and discarded objects as viable artistic material has recurred through out the 20th Century and has its roots in the work of pivotal artists such as Kurt Schwitters, particularly his Merzbau, 1923-37. Tomoko Takahashi continues this tradition and through her work challenges the viewer to see the world differently.

Tomoko Takahashi was born in Tokyo and has recently returned to London after spending the last 8 months living part of the time in Japan and the rest on a farm in Andalucía, Spain. Her work Drawing Room is currently being exhibited at Tate Modern as part of its permanent collection. She has had solo shows at The Mead Gallery, Warwickshire (2006), Serpentine Gallery, London (2005), UCLA Hammer Museum, LA (2002) and the Kunsthalle Bern (2002). In 2000 she was nominated for the Turner Prize. Notable group exhibitions include No Money, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany (2004), Living Inside the Grid, New Museum of Contemporary Art, (2003).

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Tomoko Takahashi