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Mika Tajima, Epimelesthai Sautou (Take Care), 3, 2014, Spray enamel, thermoformed acrylic, aluminum, 78 x 78 x 33 inches, (198.1 x 198.1 x 83.8 centimeters) © Mika Tajima

Mika Tajima

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b. 1975, Los Angeles

Using the mediums of sculpture, painting, and installation, Mika Tajima’s work is about control, performance, and freedom.

She analyzes the evolving and amorphous zones that intersect productivity and leisure, examining how human behavior and emotional experiences have been transformed within the long sweep of capitalist development. Tajima’s research-based practice explores the technologies and ideologies that shape human behavior through conditioning everyday life.

In her Art d'Ameublement series, the reverse spray enameled acrylic objects are transparent shells that contain blooming paint mists made solid on its interior surface. Each piece in this ambient painting series is subtitled by a geographic location—Medillin, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka, Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes—drawing on the psychogeographic associations produced by the affective names of industrial colors and paints. Art d'Ameublement refers to Erik Satie's Furniture Music (Musique d’ameublement)—a series of infinitely repetitive compositions meant to be background music for different occasions (aural decor). Spray paint is where solid substance meets air. Her Negative Entropy works make use of a Jacquard loom, considered by many historians to be a proto-computer due to its programmability using digital information on punch cards to generate weavings. The Negative Entropy textiles depict image information derived by Tajima from two sources: one, from loom facilities and other manufacturing plants; two, “lights-out” facilities, data centers where limited human oversight is required. In these textile works, Tajima is connecting two moments in the history of digital technology, demonstrating the malleability of coded information as it traverses from sound to image to exquisite fabric.

The Pranayama series is a group of sculptures carved from solid materials that have been punctured by bronze nozzles cast from actual Jacuzzi jets in a diagram of bodily pressure points, connoting a release of energy and the potential for output and flow. Pranayama refers to breathing exercises which control the flow of prana or life energy. While other works from the Pranayama series have involved intricate forms deeply carved into wood or marble, this latest monolithic work is crafted from Rose Quartz; this will be the first time Tajima uses this material. Rose Quartz was selected as a material for its physical properties and ability to transform bodily energy, generate electricity, and regulate time keeping. Like previous works in the Pranayama series, this new piece evokes the external imperative to reform the body in relation with the spiritual practice of ‘opening’ the body through internal regulation.

Mika Tajima was born in Los Angeles, CA lives and works in New York, NY. She holds a BA in Fine Arts and East Asian Studies from Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, and an MFA from Columbia University, School of the Arts, New York, NY. Selected exhibitions include: Æther at Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; TOUCHLESS, Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Dirty Protests, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Programmed, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; COLORI, Castello di Rivoli and GAM, Torino, Italy; All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Meridian (Gold), Sculpture Center, New York, NY. Public collections include: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Albright-Know Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

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Mika Tajima, Art d'Ameublement, (Onamu), 2021, Spray acrylic, thermoformed PETG, 90 x 65 inches, (228.6 x 165.1 centimeters), Photography by Charles Benton, New York © Mika Tajima

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Mika Tajima, Art d'Ameublement, (Martin Vaz), 2021, Spray acrylic, thermoformed PETG, 90 x 65 inches, (228.6 x 165.1 centimeters), Photography by Charles Benton, New York © Mika Tajima


Mika Tajima, Human Synth (Los Angeles), 2019, Custom predictive sentiment analysis program, gaming engine, Alienware VR PC, Twitter API; video, color; endless duration, Dimensions variable , Edition 2 of 3, Photography by Flying Studio, Los Angeles © Mika Tajima

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Mika Tajima, Negative Entropy (Kurozumikyo Shinto Shrine, Dawn Meditation, Red, Double), 2019, Polyester, nylon, rayon, acrylic, wool, wool acoustic baffling felt, and wood, 55 x 43 1/2 x 2 3/8 inches (139.7 x 110.5 x 6 centimeters), Photography by Charles Benton, New York © Mika Tajima


Mika Tajima, Negative Entropy (Digital Ocean NYC2, 4U NAS Unit, Fluorescent Green, Hex), 2020, Cotton, wool acoustic baffling felt, and wood, 54 x 108 inches (137.2 x 274.3 centimeters), Photography by Charles Benton, New York © Mika Tajima

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Mika Tajima, Anima 16, 2021, Glass, cast bronze jet nozzles, 19 x 17 x 10 inches (48.3 x 43.2 x 25.4 centimeters), Photography by Charles Benton, New York © Mika Tajima

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Mika Tajima, Pranayama (Monolith G, Rose Quartz), 2021, Rose quartz, cast bronze jet nozzles, 45 x 57 x 40 inches (114.3 x 144.8 x 101.6 centimeters), Photography by Flying Studio, Los Angeles © Mika Tajima