Gallery to Show Fragile, Powerful Work

Kazumi Tanaka uses her own hair to evoke intimacy

Matteawan Gallery in Beacon will host an opening reception with a musical performance from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, for its new exhibit of sculpture and drawings by Kazumi Tanaka. The exhibition runs through July 3.

The works in Wind & Rain started with Tanaka’s visit in summer 2015 to the A-Bomb Dome and the Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. Tanaka made a tiny unplayable piano using her own hair as strings for a show in Hiroshima to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a testament toward the effects of radiation on the human body. She began to create other tiny instruments incorporating animal skulls, a seashell, wood, hair, and other materials that are eerily small and fragile, yet are also powerful and thought-provoking.

She shall Mandolin (seashell, wood, metal string, mother pearl, old piano key, brass), by Kazumi Tanaka

She shall Mandolin (seashell, wood, metal string, mother pearl, old piano key, brass), by Kazumi Tanaka

Also on view in the exhibition are a series of drawings in which the artist uses coffee as the medium to create watercolor landscape drawings, including views of paths through dense trees, and a sunflower.

The final sculptural work in the show is Recording, which combines an old record player with a record made of Tanaka’s hair that spins in silence. She often uses her own hair to evoke intimacy, sense of loss and memory.

Tanaka, who was born in Osaka and moved to New York at age 25, lives and works in Beacon. The gallery is located at 436 Main St.

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