Welcome to my Home Page.
I am Yuko Takada Keller, living in Helsinge, Denmark since 1997. I am a Japanese Artist and showing my work not only in Denmark but also in some other European countries as well as Japan. I also curate some exhibitions to intoduce Japanese artists in Denmark. I use tracing paper for my art.

 

About myself and my work

I'm interested in using tracing paper, because it creates a sense of transparency and etherealness in my work. But when I was in University, I majored in weaving. Then I wove woolen tapestries for some years. Before I entered University, I was impressed by the Northern European tapestries that I saw in a museum in Kyoto. This led me to major in weaving at University.

However, while weaving the tapestries, I gradually wanted to express something different in my work. Then I took a trip to Northern Europe to see the tapestries there. Of course, I was very impressed by them, but I was more impressed by the magnificent scenery. I had never had that kind of feeling before in Japan.

After this trip, I started to make my work using paper.
At first, I used Japanese paper "washi". But I couldn't represent a sense of transparency with this paper. I tried to use various materials to represent a sense of transparency. Then I ran into tracing paper.
"The Spread" is the first work where I used tracing paper. I colored the paper with acrylic color, then tore it into many pieces, and sewed them together. It gave me a feeling of transparency. I realized some possibilities using tracing paper. Because, while each piece has its own rhythm and direction taken in its entirety it seems to become something other than simple tracing paper.

While making 2-dimensional works with tracing paper, I wanted to make pieces that were more 3-dimensional. I wanted to install my work in a space, not only hanging on a wall.
"Prismatic" is the second work that I installed 3-dimensionally. It is one of my favorite works. It is composed of 7,500 pyramids. The theme of "Prismatic" is a shower of light that I felt in nature. "Prismatic" was traveling in U.K. in 1991 and in Canada from 1993 to 1995.

When I was making "Hazy forest", I began to be conscious that tracing paper has not only a transparency but also an untransparency. I feel there is something like a skin membrane between a transparency and an untransparency. I glue small pieces which were torn in plane, then I install it in a space. Using this technique, I have been making some works. They have been getting larger or the parts themselves have been 3-dimensional.

"Water fort" is one of the larger works. I made it from an image I saw in a dream. The story is like this: I was flying in the sky. It was above the water. I had no idea if the water was the sea or a lake or somewhere else. But it was really beautiful water. When I landed on the water, suddenly, the water stood up like a wall. Then I could walk through the water. I often have such strange dreams. After I've had this kind of dream, I don't understand if the dream is true or not. Sometimes I'm confused whether something is my dream or my memories, or maybe it's true.

In 1993, I traveled in Tanzania. It was a harsh world. I experienced the life of no water.
It made me feel strongly how important water is not only for a human being but also for all lives in the world. Of course, I knew that intellectually. But it was the chance to consider life itself. After this trip, I made "Water roots". The water is the source of our life. I imagined there is incalculable energy under the ground as the "Water roots".

In 1995, I got into a small slump. It wasn't so serious. But at that time, I was thinking about the skin membrane in my mind. The skin membrane in our mind sometimes tempt and control human's desire. According to the Buddhist thought, there are 108 Bonnou in our mind. Bonnou means desire. "Pleats of a mind" consisted of 108 pieces, because they symbolically represent human desire in this work. This work was exhibited at the event "Container 96", a part of the celebration of Copenhagen as European Cultural Capital 1996.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and myself at the opening of Container 96.

From 1996, I have been using tiny small triangle pieces in my work. It symbolizes something like a molecule. A molecule of water or light or air. I would like to draw like a pointillism with this small piece as a molecule. "Between the Air" represents something like this feeling. When I am conscious of a skin membrane in the air, I can feel invisible things. It's something we have already forgotten or we don't try to see. But we have to remember, and we have to try to see. There is a value in this invisible world.

"Expectation" is the last work I made before moving to Denmark in 1997. There are so many pieces combined with thin wire. It makes me feel the light is shining upon us, or rising up to our dream.

Spring of 1997, my life in Denmark started, and I gave birth to my son in the end of this year at 39 years of age. I had a chance to reconsider about life itself. In the same time, I started to make my work to represent how respectable things we can make by our own hands. While considering the past of my life, I wanted to inform about that to the next generation like my son, because the new waves flushed away tons of information, and people will forget about the analogue way and so on.

gC of Infornmationh came from that kind of idea. It represents the human who are floating on the discarded CD-ROMs which has already been thrown away, because there is no more useful (new) information there. That's why, I also use Origami-Technique as a typical analogue way.

After, I moved to Denmark, I had my first solo exhibition at Gjethuset in Frederiksvaerk in 1999.   gLife of the Blueh which I showed at my second solo exhibition at Portalen in Greve in January 2000 is my masterpiece in these 10 years. In the spring of 1999, my mother died and I get another opportunity to reconsider about humans life and my appreciation to my mother. There are about 50,000 tiny small triangle pieces in this work, and each single pieces has life even if you can't find the life. There are many important things (life) around us, but we can't find them, because we haven't tried to see carefully.

So, at the beginning of using tracing paper, I hoped my works would remind the viewer of something pure and natural in this world. Of course, I love and cherish the natural world, but I was interested in only the pure or beautiful world in nature. When I began to be conscious of a skin membrane in the tracing paper, I wanted to represent something more, not only pure or natural, in this world. It's sometimes in our mind.

Yuko Takada Keller

 

Tracing paper has a transparency and an untransparency.
I'm interested in how tracing paper is like a skin membrane.
The skin membrane lies between dream and reality.
The skin membrane lies between consciousness and behavior.
The skin membrane is there when life is born.
The skin membrane is part of a human being.
I want to represent the space that people are aware of
The skin membrane is unconsciousness.