Koki Tanaka

田中功起

Process of Blowing Flour

Koki Tanaka  Process of Blowing Flour

source: db-artmag

“Koki Tanaka is one of the most original artists of his generation to emerge on the global art scene in the last decade. A shrewd observer of the most ‘indifferent’ matters of the everyday, he always manages to magically transform them into fantastic events with a sense of humor, offering open but pungent implications that reveal the uncanniness of existence,” writes Hou Hanru, artistic director of the MAXXI in Rome, in a statement on the jury’s selection. “On the other hand, Tanaka, a global trotter, is also a savvy mobilizer of collective actions and encourages sharing and exchange among participants to produce a common sense of creativity and imagination while probing new rules of negotiation and collaboration. Tanaka’s work represents an inventive approach toward exploring the question of community making—a truly important issue in today’s aesthetic and political experiments across the world.”

Koki Tanaka, born 1975 in Tochigi, Japan, lives and works in Los Angeles. He became known through installations and actions in which he implements everyday objects and material found on site. A major part of his work consists of participatory projects that incorporate actors and exhibition viewers.

Tanaka represented Japan at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, where his unsettlingly simple experiments proved that collaborations can pose a huge challenge: how do we treat one another, how do we treat things? What happens when nine hairdressers cut a woman’s hair all at once, or five potters craft a ceramic vase together? The experimental teamwork also reflected on the Fukushima catastrophe, which forced people to band together and form communities. Tanaka is interested in communication, power, and ethics—but also in the aesthetic quality and form of the collaboratively produced work of art.

In his early works, Tanaka was involved as an active participant and still defined the general parameters of his work. Now, however, he leaves the making of the artwork up to the participants, whose actions and decisions dictate the result—without the artist’s input. He described his Biennale works as follows: “You might say that these are proposals for an ideal situation in which an artist accomplishes his work thanks to the kindness of others. They are invitations to people to step out of their daily routines and participate in an orchestrated situation where you can experience what it means to fruitfully engage with ‘strangers.’”

Currently, works by Koki Tanaka can be seen in group exhibitions at the London ICA and the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.
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source: db

“Koki Tanaka ci costringe a vedere le cose di tutti i giorni con occhi nuovi. Rappresenta una nuova generazione di artisti che sono in grado di connettere le loro posizioni estetiche alle problematiche sociali. Ciò corrisponde perfettamente all’impegno di Deutsche Bank per l’arte”. Ha dichiarato Stefan Krause, membro del Management Board di Deutsche Bank e Presidente del Global Art Advisory Council della Banca.

Koki Tanaka, nato nel 1975 a Tochigi, in Giappone, vive e lavora a Los Angeles. Nel 2013 ha rappresentato il suo Paese alla 55a Biennale di Venezia. Attualmente i suoi lavori sono esposti in mostre collettive alla London ICA (fino al 7 settembre 2014) e al Van Abbemuseum di Eindhoven (fino al 12 ottobre 2014).

“Koki Tanaka è tra i più incisivi promotori di azioni collettive. Incoraggia la condivisione e la produzione di un senso comune di cooperazione e di creatività tra i partecipanti. Il suo lavoro rappresenta un approccio innovativo nel tentativo di esplorare le problematiche legate alla costruzione di una società”, spiega Hou Hanru, Direttore Artistico del MAXXI di Roma e membro del Global Art Advisory Council, che ogni anno nomina il Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year”. Il comitato è composto, oltre che da Hou Hanru, da altri tre curatori di fama internazionale: Okwui Enwezor, Udo Kittelmann, e Victoria Noorthoorn.