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The Visual Arts Center Announces Mika Tajima as Fall 2011 Artist-in-Residence
UT Visual Arts Center, Austin

August, 2011

Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Art and Art History

The Visual Arts Center Announces
Mika Tajima as its Fall 2011 Artist-in-Residence, Presenting The Architect’s Garden

Curated by Aimee Chang

Opening Reception on Friday, September 9, 6–9 pm

Press Inquiries
You You Xia  //  //  (512) 471-1749

For Immediate Release
August 8, 2011

Mika Tajima

Mika Tajima with Charles Atlas, No Go, 2011
Installation view of The Pedestrians
South London Gallery
Photo by Mark Blower

Austin, TX — From September 9 to December 17, 2011, the Visual Arts Center (VAC) will present Mika Tajima: The Architect’s Garden. For this new work, conceived for the VAC’s Vaulted Gallery, Tajima will construct sculptures that incorporate a framework of scaffolding holding canvas panels printed with a kaleidoscopic collage of images drawn from her interest in modernist designs, formal French gardens, Richard Linklater’s Slacker , and film and theater sets. Other panels will feature projected images from past performances and images drawn from her conversations with people from The University of Texas and Austin communities. These conversations will form the foundation for a series of public programs to take place in conjunction with the installation. This exhibition is curated by Aimee Chang, Manager of Public Programs at The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin.

Working across multiple media including sculpture, painting, performance, and video, Tajima explores the overlap between architecture, art, modernism, post-industrialism, and performance. Visually arresting with bright colors, bold graphics, geometric shapes, projected video, text, and image, her environments serve as both finished works and sites of production, addressing the legacy of modernism in this post-Fordist moment.

Mika Tajima received her MFA from Columbia University in 2003. Recent solo exhibition venues include the Seattle Art Museum, South London Gallery, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Kitchen in New York. Group exhibitions include Knight’s Move at the Sculpture Center, Long Island City; the 2008 Whitney Biennial; and One Way of Another: Asian American Art Now, a touring exhibition organized by the Asia Society, New York. Her work is presented in many catalogs and books, including Vitamin 3-D: New Perspectives in Sculpture and Installation. Tajima lives and works in New York.

Aimee Chang is Manager of Public Programs at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to moving to Austin, she was Director of Academic and Residency Programs at the Hammer Museum, overseeing the museum’s collaborations with UCLA and the Artist Residency and Artist Council programs. She was previously Curator of Contemporary Art at the Orange County Museum of Art. She has written for exhibition catalogs and journals, including One Way of Another: Asian American Art Now and a report on the artist-led, post-Katrina, New Orleans-based project, Transforma. She has served as a juror for United States Artists, the Nimoy Foundation, LA County Metro, and the William H. Johnson Award, and she sits on the board of Clockshop and on the advisory board of LA>

Generous support for The Architect’s Garden comes from Stratus Properties, Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, and the W Hotel.

Associated Public Programs

Artist Talk with Mika Tajima
Tuesday, August 30
6:30 pm
Blanton Museum Auditorium

This event is presented in conjunction with Tajima’s exhibition The Architect’s Garden, on view at the VAC from September 9 to December 17.

Co-presented by The Blanton Museum of Art and the Visual Arts Center

Mika Tajima in conversation with Richard Linklater
Tuesday, September 13
6:30 pm
Art Building, Room 1.102

Filmmaker Linklater and artist Tajima discuss slackers, flanêurs, and the history of refusal, an element in Tajima’s work and in Linklater’s influential 1991 film Slacker.

Co-presented by The Blanton Museum of Art and the Visual Arts Center

Lecture by Nancy Kwallek: Herman Miller, Inc. and Knoll’s color palettes from the 1950s
Tuesday, September 27
5 pm
Visual Arts Center

Offered in conjunction with The Architect’s Garden, Dr. Nancy Kwallek, Gene Edward Mikesa Endowed Chair in Interior Design and Director of the Interior Design Program at UT Austin uses Herman Miller and Knoll as examples to discuss the impact of color on our senses. This lecture relates to discussions between Dr. Kwallek and Mika Tajima on interior design, architecture, and modernism.

Lunch Break: Slacker
Tuesday, November 15
12 pm
Visual Arts Center

This screening of the 1990s independent film, Slacker is organized in response to Mika Tajima’s The Architect’s Garden. Bring your lunchtime goodies and join the VAC for Richard Linklater’s episodic portrait of a distinct vernacular culture and a look at an emerging generation of aggressive nonparticipants. Introduced by Aimee Chang, Manager of Public Programs at the Blanton Museum of Art and curator of The Architect’s Garden.

B.Y.O.L. / Drinks provided

About the Visual Arts Center

The Visual Arts Center (VAC) is Austin’s newest contemporary art space featuring five state-of-the-art galleries and three inviting public spaces. This beautiful facility, with its airy galleries and inspiring art exhibits, draws students, faculty, guest artists and creative voices from around the world to form an intellectual and emotional center of UT’s dynamic arts community. Situated in the heart of the University, at the corner of Trinity and 23rd streets, the VAC serves as a hub for artistic expression, education, and innovation.


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