“Follow the moon and silhouette” by Ayumi Tanaka

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Conversation with Ayumi Tanaka

by Paola Núñez Solorio


How did the fairy tale, “Follow the moon and silhouette”, begin?

The rabbit from the moon said. ” I want to look over the world around me like a puppet theater. I wish I could give water to my dried flower again.” While she was daydreaming, I was trying to find precious mementos for her sleepy ordinary life.  


We all grew up listening to fairy-tales and fantasies; can you describe what appealed to you to create a project like this?

I have been interested in the function of fairy-tales, not because of the fact that they are stories for children; instead, they actually employ several emotional elements such as desire, fear and nostalgia, which all human beings possess. Besides my childhood memories, dreams that I had, and emotional events in daily life inspire me to work on this project. I have been fascinated by classic optical devises, a pictogram, and mythologies.


Where do these fairy-tales come from? Where do they live?

I have been trying to create my own original fairy tails with a three-dimensional diorama by using photography. The stories are created based on personal experiences and dreams I had. By creating fairy tales, I play riddles with hidden story characters that live only within the world of photographs, and try to communicate to memories, which the story characters used to have.

How do you create images that you first saw in your imagination into real objects?

I make collage work by using transparency films. I try to layer complexity of emotional landscape in my fairy-tails, and compose images from my photographs, family albums, Internet, and anonymous photographs from antique market and by crafting shadow images of paper-cutouts.


About the artist

Ayumi Tanaka is a Japanese-born artist, living and working in New York City. She received a BFA from Osaka University of Arts in Japan in 2002, and studied at International Center of Photography in 2010. Her work has been presented internationally at exhibitions including ITEZA Sculpture Gallery, Kyoto in Japan, “Braking Boundaries III” Pingyao International Photography Festival 2010 in China, and “Of Body and Other Things” at International Center of Photography in 2010.  In 2011, she recently exhibited her work at Sotiri International Prize Exhibition in Albania, Foto/Pods at the Dumbo Arts Festival 2011 in NY, and “Macabre & Mysticism” at 25 CPW Red Roots Gallery in NY.

Her latest work will be exhibited on her solo show at Pictura Gallery in Bloomington IN, 2012. She was awarded International Center of Photography Director Fellowship in 2010.

For further information about Ayumi, visit: www.ayumi-tanaka.com

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