SANAE TAKAHATA Medieval Delusion: Personal Objects

Sanae Takahata left her hometown of Gumma in 1977 to pursue her autodidactic art career. She was accepted at the Salon de Paris and made her debut in a Paris gallery at the age of 18, but soon moved to Manhattan, New York City in order to gain more artistic freedom for her expression.

While visiting Japan from New York, she had her first exhibition at Sagacho Exhibit Space even as she was still working under-contract with a prominent West Side Gallery. This was Japan of the 1980’s when Japanese Contemporary Art was blooming.

The Medieval Delusion Exhibition we are presenting is mainly composed of small wearable objects. Takahata first appreciated the scent of Medieval materials in the outskirts of Paris and then expanded her search to include Eastern Europe. Her works are made from the small material pieces discovered during many wanderings and explorations through the lives and histories of the cities she has visited.

When asked what attracted her to Medieval subject matter, Takahata answers, “the vivid imagination of our predecessors and their natural coexistence with reality and the Arcadia.” The strong expressive power of Jan Van Eyck and the combative force of Jeanne d’Arc form the “Bass Continuo” in her work. (Note: Takahata’s oil painting “Protect Life” was painted during the days she spent while joining like-minded women anti-war demonstrators in front of the Japanese Diet Building earlier this year.)

sagacho archives has coined the name “Personal Objects” for Takahata’s small wearable artwork. While working on her epic oil painting series “Intimate Reflections”, these Personal Objects were also brought into existence. It is our fervent wish that Art Loving People will wear and find joy in giving these intimately Personal Objects to friends and family during the holiday season.

Medieval Delusion: Personal Objects is a compilation of articles of rare original beauty made out of joyous and mysteriously tempting materials. 180 newly created pieces (300 objects in total) & 11 new oil paintings help to create a formidable and intriguing space for the viewers.

Protect Life
Oil on Canvas
po1 Punk Spirit
Mixed media
Oil on canvas
Ellipse 60.6㎝×50㎝
po2 A miracle will happen for you.
Mixed media

Artist Profile

Sanae Takahata was born in Maebashi City, Gumma, Japan in 1959. Inspired by the iconoclastic and cutting clarity of Ango Sakaguchi’s Darakuron (Discourse on Decadence) and avant-garde artist Taro Okamoto’s Konnichi no Geijutsu (Today’s Art) she quit Tokyo University of the Arts preparation studies, worked and saved money as a supermarket cashier and purchased a one-way ticket for Paris right after graduating high school. She made her Paris debut at a gallery in 1977 at the age of 18. In 1981 she moved to the United States and quickly signed a contract with a New York gallery. In 1984 she moved back to Japan and exhibited “Peaceful Place” featuring fusuma sliding doors, clay masks and oil paintings at Sagacho Exhibit Space. In 1986 she showed “ Seeking Tomorrow’s Face” at Sagacho bis and in 1995 she exhibited “Intimate Reflections: Birth of Self-portrait 1991-1995” featuring oil paintings at Sagacho Exhibit Space. In 1995, she collaborated with sociologist Chizuko Ueno to publish “A na ta ta chi” which is based on the “Intimate Reflections” oil paintings. Text by: Chizuko Ueno. Afterword by: Kazuko Koike. NHK Publisher. Inc. Tokyo. 1996 marked the start of a chaotic period in Sanae’s life. She immersed herself in to the study of Carl Gustav Jung’s Individuation process of transformation, worked in an office for the first time in her life and began painting her inner portraits on her body shaped canvases for 10 years. Later, she named them “ WEAR ME: Life’s Changes and Shifts” and exhibited at Honen-in Temple, Hojo room in Kyoto in 2006, The Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow, Poland in 2012 and in Hong Kong in 2014. Recently, she is working on her lifework oil painting series “Intimate Reflections” again.

Exhibition information

Thursday, December 10 - Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Open Daily 12:00 ~ 19:00
sagacho archives
#B110 3331 Arts Chiyoda
Sotokanda 6-11-14, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 1010021 Japan
sagacho archives
Kitchen Inc.

Talk Event:
Polyphony, Medieval Recollection – Dialogue of Art and Music –

Rimako Itoh (Art Historian) × Sanae Takahata
Saturday, December 19, 2015
14:00 – 15:30
¥1,000 (including some Christmas tea and sweets)
3331 Arts Chiyoda, Room 306
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