Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion

August 1, 2014–November 9, 2014

Kazumi Tanaka, silk fabric made with Shibori-Zome technique (traditional Japanese resist and dye processes), 2014. Silk. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) presents new work by Artist-in-Residence Kazumi Tanaka, a Japanese-American sculptor based in Beacon, New York. Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion opens on Friday, August 1, 2014. FWM will host a public reception on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, as well as a Press and Members Preview featuring an artist talk at 5:30 pm on the First Floor at FWM, 1214 Arch Street. This exhibition presents an accumulation of memories, customs, and traditional Japanese fabric processes that tells a story of family, tradition, and one’s self.

Kazumi Tanaka is known for creating detailed and finely-crafted objects using a variety of materials such as wood, hair, metal, and Japanese fabrics. Recently, the artist produced a series of miniature Tansu (traditional Japanese storage cabinets) inspired by her memories of her childhood in Japan. The initial idea for her project at FWM was to examine what is typically put into and taken out of these bureaus. However, as Tanaka states in her exhibition journal Mother and Child Reunion, “When I am looking for something, often I find something else along the way. It catches my attention completely and I forget what I was originally looking for. Ultimately, this discovery leads me to find what I am really looking for…”

Kazumi Tanaka: Mother and Child Reunion is the initial exhibition of FWM’s ongoing series, Convergence: Declarations of Independence, which presents to the Philadelphia community the energy and creativity of artists working outside traditional centers of the art world.


The Fabric Workshop and Museum
First Floor

Opening Reception

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
Members-only Artist Talk at 5:30 pm

Artists in This Exhibition

About the Artist

Kazumi Tanaka (b. 1962, Osaka, Japan) graduated from Osaka University in 1985 before relocating to New York in 1987, where she studied sculpture at the New York Studio School (1987–1990). Employing both ancient and modern sculpting techniques, Tanaka creates intricate and conceptually complex works that often involve childhood memories of Japan and address cultural differences between Eastern and Western lifestyles. She has exhibited at museums and galleries around the world. Solo exhibitions include presentations at the Kent Gallery between 1995 and 2003; as well as shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1993); Beacon Project Space, Beacon, New York (2002); and Hudson Beach Glass Gallery, Beacon, New York (2011). Tanaka’s work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including A Labor of Love, at the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1996); The Quiet in the Land, at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art (1997); Model World at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2002); and Salem2Salem, at Neues Museum, Salem, Germany (2012). Most recently, her work has been included in the group exhibition Silence, at Masters & Pelavin Gallery, New York (2012). Tanaka has participated in numerous residencies, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine (1990); the United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake, Maine (1996); in Salem, Germany (2010, 2012); Art Omi in New York (2013); and is completing a residency as part of a 2014 Visual Arts Fellowship at the Citivella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. She lives and works in Beacon, New York.


Major funding for this exhibition is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional funding by the National Endowment for the Arts, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM).