Tamiko Kawata, Mountain Wave
24K yellow gold plated safety pins, oxidized safety pins, and nickel-plated safety pins
Born in Japan in 1936, Tamiko Kawata grew up in Tokyo during the climate of the World War II Era. In the early years of her art career, Kawata was largely influenced by Bauhaus and Dada, and then the emergence of the Gutai Group. Begun in 1954, Gutai was a Japanese avant-garde movement with radical, new ideas and approaches to making art. All three art philosophies were particularly interested in unconventional materials, which had a great impression on the artist. After moving to New York in the 1960s, Kawata was inspired by safety pins while purchasing them to pin up the American clothing that was much too large for her small frame. The physical practice of joining complex yet diminutive elements continues to provide both a meditative and diaristic process for the artist.