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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. Concerned not with the conditions but with the conditioning of modern human life, Tajima’s research-based practice explores the technologies and ideologies that cultivate the subtle molding of human behavior through aesthetic conditioning.

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. Mist contained in the transparent acrylic shell.  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. Tajima is currently working on a commission for the Dezaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan set to be completed in 2020. Her first solo exhibition with Kayne Griffin Corcoran will take place November 2019.

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: Ether at Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; TOUCHLESS, Taro Nasu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Harford, CT; Embody, 11R, 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: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Albright-Know Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Born 1975 in Los Angeles, CA. Lives and works in New York, NY

EDUCATION

2013                         
MFA, Columbia University, School of Arts, New York, NY

1997                         
Post Graduate Apprentice, The Fabric Workshop and Museum Apprentice Training Program, Philadelphia, PA                       
BA, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020                
Mika Tajima, Dezaifu Tenmangu  Fukuoka, Japan 

2019
Mika Tajima: PSYCHO GRAPHICS, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA
Mika Tajima: PSYCHO GRAPHICS, Art Production Fund, Los Angeles, CA

2018                         
Mika Tajima: Ulterior, Francesca Minini, Milan, Italy
Aether, curated by Margot Norton, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey

2017                         
Touchless, Taro Nasu, Tokyo, Japan
AIR, Raster Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

2016                        
Meridian (Gold), Sculpture Center, New York, NY 
Embody, 11R, New York, NY
Emotion Commune, Protocinema, Istanbul, Turkey

2015                         
Human Synth, Taro Nasu, Tokyo, Japan

2014                         
Total Body Conditioning, Art in General, New York, NY
Negative Entropy, Eleven Rivington, New York, NY

2013                         
Total Body Conditioning, Galeria Quadrado Azul, Lisbon, Portugal

2011                          
Pineapples and Pyramids, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (commission)
The Architect’s Garden, UT Visual Art Center, Austin, TX
After the Martini Shot, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY

2010                         
The Double, Bass Museum, Miami, FL

2009                        
The Extras, X Initiative, New York, NY

2008                        
Deal or No Deal, Kevin Bruk Gallery, Miami, FL
The Double, The Kitchen, NY, NY
The Double, Centre for Opinions on Music and Art, Berlin, Germany

2007                        
Thin Line, Circuit, Lausanne, Switzerland
New Humans: Disassociate, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY

2005                        
Echoplex, Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York, NY
 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019
IF THE SNAKE, curated by Pierre Huyghe, Okayama Art Summit, Okayama,
Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

2018
Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2017  
Sea Sick in Paradise, Depart Foundation, Los Angeles, CA                     
COLORI, Castello di Rivoli and GAM, Torino, Italy
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

2016        
11th Gwuabgju Biennale, curated by Maria Lind, South Korea,                 
Jean-Pascal Flavien & Mika Tajima, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, CA

2015                         
Office Space, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
Painting @ The Very Edge of Art, University of Connecticut Contemporary Art Galleries, Storrs, CT
Incorporate Me, CCS Bard Galleries and the Hessel Museum of Art, New York, NY

2014                         
Pier 54, High Line Art, New York, NY
New Generation, Frac Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkirk, France
Soft Shock, Eli Ping Frances Perkins,New York,NY
Display, University of Connecticut Contemporary Art Galleries, Storrs, CT

2013                         
New Humans, Bureau, New York, NY
Roppongi Crossing 2013: Out of Doubt, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
The Fruit Loop, Soloway, New York ,NY
Midori Mambo Black Russian (two-person exhibition with Sam Moyer), Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY
Two-person exhibition with Jimmy Raskin, onestar press, Paris, France
Paint Things: Beyond the Stretcher, Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA
Beyond the Object, Brand New Gallery, Milano, Italy

2012                         
Stage Presence, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Surface in Volume, Luce Gallery, Turin, Italy
New York: Directions, Points of Interest, Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy
Abstract Possible: The Stockholm Synergies, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

2011                          
Temporary Structures: Performing Architecture in Contemporary Art, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
Blur: Art /Design Cross Pollination, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
I don’t know if it makes any sense – I feel quite dizzy and a little drunk due to the blow. I will return with more info shortly…, IMO, Copenhagen, Denmark
Flags for Venice, Istituto Svizzero di Roma and Swiss Institute New York, Venice, Italy
Summer Whites, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY
Common Love, Aesthetics of Becoming, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY
Maybe I should have called it ‘My Life in Nineteen Minutes’, Calder Foundation Project, New York, NY
Transaction Abstraite (two-person show with Charles Atlas), New Galerie, Paris, France
Formalist Sidewalk Poetry Club, Miami, FL

2010                         
Today I Made Nothing, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY
Wait for Me at the Bottom of the Pool curated by Bob Nickas, Bridgehampton, NY
Mixtapes, Lewis Gluckman Gallery, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Knight’s Move, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY
Passing Time, 80WSE Gallery NYU, New York, NY
Interference, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

2009                        
Second Look (at the Surface), Kuenstlerhaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria
Blank/Bosluk, Marquise Dance Hall, Istanbul, Turkey
Learn to Communicate Like a Fucking Normal Person, Art Production Fund, New York, NY

2008                        
Whitney Biennial 2008, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Broken Plaid and other works, RISD Museum, Providence, RI
Some Thing Else, Peter Blum Chelsea, New York, NY
One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, HI

2007                        
Sympathy for the Devil: Rock and Roll in Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Every Revolution is a Roll of the Dice, Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX
Stripes, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
Uncertain States of America, Herning Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Uncertain States of America, Center for Contemporary Art Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

2006                        
Bunch, Alliance and Dissolve, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Blaffer Art Gallery, Houston, TX
Uncertain States of America, Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland
Music is a Better Noise, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
PICA Time-Based Art Fest, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Asia Society, New York, NY
Uncertain States of America, Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Uncertain States of America, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Interface in Your Face, Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York, NY

2005                    
Uncertain States of America curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Daniel Birnbaum, Astrup Fearnley Museum (Oslo, Norway)
Musica Video Musica curated by Bob Nickas, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Video in Person, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Grass Grows Forever in Every Possible Direction, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Recess: Images and Objects in Formalism, Rush Arts, New York, NY

2004                        
Solo Project Video Installation, United Bamboo Daikanyama, Tokyo, Japan
New Humans: Grass grows forever in every possible direction featuring design collaboration with United Bamboo, Swiss Institute Contemporary Art, New York, NY

2003                    
Club in the Shadow, Kenny Schachter ConTEMPorary, New York, NY
Surface Tension, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
New Humans presented by Sherman Magazine, Maccarone, New York, NY
Container Exhibition, Tokyo Design Week, Tokyo, Japan

2002                   
Comfort Zone, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Get Out, Paley Gallery at Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2000                   
Foreign Body, White Columns, NY, NY
My Imaginary Friends, Parlour Projects, Brooklyn, NY
A Complement to Love, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA

COLLABORATIVE EXHIBITIONS

2013                         
“Post Script” for Book Machine organized by Christophe Boutin and Melanie Scarciglia, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2011                          
The Pedestrians with Charles Atlas, South London Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2009                        
Today is Not a Dress Rehearsal with Charles Atlas and New Humans, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

2007                        
New Humans: Disassociate with New Humans, Vito Acconci, José León Cerrillo, Philippe Decrauzat, C. Spencer Yeh, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
The Fabric Workshop & Museum, Philadelphia, PA
FRAC Nord Pas de Calais
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), San Francisco, CA
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY