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Tabaimo in "Boundaries"

Artist Tabaimo, Japan’s representative to the 2011 Venice Biennale, draws inspiration from traditional and contemporary Japanese culture as she creates immersive, surreal, and sometimes humorous—or disturbing—video installations.

In her video public conVENience (2006) she explores the uncomfortable boundaries—or lack thereof—between public and private space in the Internet age.

More information and credits


Series Created By: Susan Dowling & Susan Sollins. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Series Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Associate Curator: Wesley Miller. Director of Production: Nick Ravich. Production Coordinator: Ian Forster. Consulting Director: Catherine Tatge. Editor: Mark Sutton. Director of Photography: Jarred Alterman, Sunil Pillai, Ian Serfontein, Joel Shapiro, & Yasushi Kishimoto. Additional Photography: Martial Barrault, Dado Carlin, Craig Feldman, Nicholas Lindner, Jared Schiller, & Zachary Spira-Bauer. Sound: Patrick Christensen, Nicholas Lindner, Mark Mandler, Gissy Michael, Roger Phenix, Laurent Rodriguez, & Merce Williams. Assistant Camera: Christopher Aran, Amy Bench, Jeymes Cabala, Nick Esposito, John Marton, Clair Popkin, Michael Pruitt-Bruun, & Yahia Zadek. Field Producer: Charles Atlas & Mariana Valdrighi Amaral. Production Assistant: Logan Needle. Voiceover Artist: Karen Huie. Assistant Editor: Crystal De Boulet, Dahlia Fischbein, Morgan Riles, Bahron Thomas, & Alex Zustra. Tabaimo Translation: Hitomi Iwasaki, Justin Jesty, Keiko Koshihara, Manami Beer, Manami Fujimori, Ashley Rawlings, & Reiko Tomii.

Art Direction and Design: Open, New York. Online Editor: Don Wyllie. Composer: Peter Foley. Voiceover Artist: Jace Alexander. Sound Editor: Margaret Crimmins & Greg Smith. Sound Mix: Cory Melious. Sound Assistant: Steve Giammaria. Artwork Animation: Frank Ferrigno. Graphics Animation: Urosh Perishic.

Artworks Courtesy of: David Altmejd; assume vivid astro focus; Tabaimo; © Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; © 2011 Robert Morris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; Cheim & Read, New York; & James Cohan Gallery, New York. Archival Footage & Photography Courtesy of: Lynda Benglis, Photograph by Hans Namuth; © 1991 Hans Namuth Estate; Rick Castro; Steph Goralnick; Patrick Hersant; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Kristy Leibowitz; Kat Mareck; Kleber Matheus; Tom Powel; Anand Sarabhai; Dermot Smyth; Ufer! Art Documentary; Video Data Bank; & Josh White. Travel Agent: Lita Gottesman & Sue Mackiewicz.

Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; 601ArtSpace; Rénald Bellemare; Lindsay Bosch; Marcy Brafman; Asha Burchett; Pat Casteel; April Childers; Ralph Cuccurullo; Deborah Diemente; Keith Eland; Rodrigo Garcia Dutra; Teneille Haggard; Maria Jose Duran; Imoimo; Katie Kraft; Susan Krane; Samara Levenstein; Jessica Lin Cox; Sabrina Locks; Sheila Lynch; Museum of Art RISD, Providence; New Museum, New York; Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London; Jim Powell; Ellen Robinson; Salon 94 Freemans, New York; Sarabhai Foundation, Ahmedabad; Keith Shapiro; Erin Sickler; SP-Arte, São Paulo; Bec Stupak; Judith Tannenbaum; Amit Vachharajani; Venice Biennale; & Steve Wylie.

Curatorial Advisory Council: Rachel Blackburn Cozad, Kris Douglas, Gary Garrels, Karen Higa, Margo Machida, Marti Mayo, Jill Medvedow, Anne Pasternack, John Ravenal, Paul Schimmel, Katy Siegel, & Judith Tannenbaum.

Additional Art21 Staff: Daniel Barrett, Carrie Caroselli, KC Forcier, Joe Fusaro, Jessica Hamlin, Claudine Isé, Marc Mayer, Jonathan Munar, Heather Reyes, Kelly Shindler, Sara Simonson, & Diane Vivona.

Interns: Alex Abelson, Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler, Lucy Healy-Kelly, Clara Jo, David Levine, Maren Miller, Molly Nathan, Tayo Ogunbiyi, & Persis Singh. Bookkeeper: Valerie Riley.

Public Relations: DKC Public Relations. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman.

Major underwriting for Season 6 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, PBS, Agnes Gund, Bloomberg, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Broad Art Foundation, The Japan Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.


Tabaimo’s drawings and video installations probe the unsettling themes of isolation, contagion, and instability that seem to lurk beneath daily existence in contemporary Japan. She draws aesthetic inspiration for her animated videos from a combination of Japanese art forms, while she often sets her layered, surrealistic narratives in domestic interiors and communal spaces. Tabaimo populates her work with uncanny characters that, either through mutation or as victims of inexplicable violence, become fragmented in their relationships to the environment and their own identity. Installed in theatrical, stage-like settings, her work is attuned to the architecture and the viewers within it.

Think about all of the information we encounter every day. What do we take in and what do we tune out? What structures and systems do we create to help us understand the world we live in?


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