Café Kiss of the World, a newly commissioned installation by artist/poet Haruko Tanaka, opens in the Armory Center for the Arts’ Mezzanine Gallery on Saturday, January 22 from 7-9pm.
Born in Queens, New York in 1974 and raised in England and Japan, Tanaka returned to the U.S. in the early 1990s. Her keen interest in the transmission and translation of cultural traditions, along with an interest in creating community, informs all of her work. In Café Kiss of the World viewers will proceed through a soft curtained doorway into a breeze-filled room filled with symbols from the artist’s personal journeys such as a jigsaw puzzle, multiple clocks, photographs, and printed poems
The inspiration for this installation derives from Tanaka’s lifelong experience of having no fixed residence, retaining friends throughout the world and being transported back momentarily to places of familiarity no matter how seemingly foreign the circumstances. Her habitual visits between Japan and the U.S. are filled with disparate sentiments ranging from romanticism about tradition, history, and family, to attitudes about progress, linguistic dominance, and fashion forwardness. This installation functions as a metaphorical eye of the storm – a place of contemplative comfort in which to slow down and feel the “kiss of the world” upon us.
This new work by Tanaka, organized by Armory Curator Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne, will open alongside two concurrent exhibitions at the Armory; Sympathetic Magic, a group exhibition of time-based work organized by guest curator Catherine Taft, and Ruins of Daedalus’ Labyrinth, an installation by sculptor Nuttaphol Ma. Haruko Tanaka received her MFA in Photography and Media Art from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA in 2003 and her BA in Fine Art from the School of Fine Art, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA in 1997. Her work has been shown at such venues as the Asia Society, Los Angeles, CA; CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. As one half of the artist intuitive duo Krystal Krunch (with Asher Hartman), her collaborative efforts have taken place at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA; and Sea & Space Explorations, Highland Park, CA.
On view at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Armory members, students, and seniors are free. The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. For information about Armory exhibitions and events, the public may call 626.792.5101 x122. or visit the Armory website at www.armoryarts.org.