Ao Tajima


presented by balzerARTprojects

Born 1979 in Tokyo, Japan

Ao Tajima predominantly works with unexpected juxtapositions of everyday objects, furniture and clothing. Items are extracted from a home or family context and subversively stress gender and power hierarchies, without being overtly explicit. A critical analysis of global/trans-national economic and cultural developments is reiterated in Tajima’s work.  In "Rain" and "Chair, Waiting" she installs parallel worlds by juxtaposing unlikely, but not uncommon companions: a chair without a seat in front of a curtain made of a surrealistically deconstructed man’s winter coat; a table standing on men’s legs clad in formal trousers and shoes.

Her installations provoke reactions ranging from different levels of discomfort, to fear, amusement and disbelief. There are different conceptual layers to be explored, as the artist’s positions are preoccupied with how life is sustained by a logic that explicitly surpasses the realm of individual experiences, but emphasizes the biographies of the everyday (a.k.a. the anonymous). Although she captures the seemingly uneventful, the superfluous and unnoticed, objects receive their intrinsic value through the reference to their very own biography.

Tajima’s work is marked by an ironic take on social conventions and artistic norms. It is counter-intuitive and counter-institutional. Most often self-referential, her positions critique the materiality of the art object. Tajima explores the ambiguity of art production, the market, historiography and analysis and navigates carefully between parody and sincerity.

Ao Tajima, The Third Fold (Die dritte Falte), 2011, blanket, wood, 150 x 200 cm
Ao Tajima, Rain, 2011, wood, shoes, trousers, metal, 180x 80 x 80 cm
Ao Tajima, Chair, Waiting, 2011, chair, clothes, iron, 150 x 70 x 220 cm
Ao Tajima, Untitled, 2010, ink, cotton, 11.8 x 11.8 inches