tponart / Takako Hamano

IndustryArt & Cultural, Environmental Civil Engineering, Intercultural Experience
CountryThe Netherlands
Member sinceJanuary, 2024

Takako Hamano

Takako is a Japanese artist currently based in The Netherlands, creating visual artworks that transform everyday experiences into a fantasy world that coexists with reality.

After graduation from High School in the US, Takako returned to Tokyo to study sociology at Rikkyo University.

Just before she left the US, her experience of being completely mesmerized by the power of the spring snow melting in the Rocky Mountains sparked her devotion to exploring mountains, caves, rivers, and valleys in Japan.

Following an injury, her doctor advised her to never climb mountains again, so she moved to the flat land of the Netherlands to study Fine Art.

Changing her discipline to Fine Art did not change her research theme: the interconnectedness of the universe.

Takako has developed community research-based art projects around the topics of memories, archetypes, collective awareness or “natsukashisa” (feeling familiar to something which you cannot grasp in reality).

Examples of these projects are Hamano Oinarisan: A tale of pinewoods from Awashima project (2013) at Setouchi Triennale and Cafe Den Boterham from Cafe Den Botherham project (2019).

Takako’s work has been recognized and funded by international art funds and organizations such as Pola Art Foundation, Prins Bernard Fonds, Asahi Shinbun Cultural Funds, Mondriaan Funds, AFK, CCA Kitakyushu and more.

Circular Niro and EatArt experiences are Takako’s most important ongoing recent projects.

Circular Niro

Since 2022, for two years, Takako has been a semi-remote rice farmer in Nirono, Kochi, Japan, harvesting excellent organic rice twice with local supporters on a 1700m2 paddy field. Initially, it was rough and uncultivated land.

The first draft of the relational map Takako has created for the field revealed the interconnectedness of arable lands including rice field, traditional houses, and surrounding mountains through an eco-system of underground soil. Emphasizing the need to approach them as a unity for revitalization ensuring their well-being for future generations, Takako initiated rice cultivation. Workshops on soil vitalization around houses and mountains followed in collaboration with Kochi technical university students and ecological civil engineers.

One of her significant artistic interests is to create an environment where people can reconnect with nature and experience mythical senses, such as being deceived by raccoon dogs. Takako believes such experiences, whether occurring in ‘reality’ or ‘imaginary’, deeply enrich our ways of being.

Working on the land, -combining both the classical ecological engineering technique and the new farming EM gravitron method using special microorganisms- is a process of creating a large landscape art together with the community. These specific technologies based on local cultures have potentials to be shared and studied together with researchers in the Netherlands as well.

An extensive solo exhibition around this project is planned at Zone2Source in Amsterdam, in 2025.

EatArt experience

Using ‘brainstem therapy’ as an art communication tool to draw relations between everyday entities, together with Uno Fujisawa, Takako has developed and conducted a series of EatArt experiences since 2020. An intimate session with three participants, where we invite them to dive into a uniquely framed field, by stimulating their five senses through food, head spa, audiovisual installation, and aromatic atmosphere with Japanese essences. By opening up five senses and sharing those experiences, one can re-relate oneself to others and the surroundings, gaining fresh perspectives towards everyday life. As every session forms a different constellation of participants, its experience evolves within and beyond the given context.

Harvested rice in Nirono, Kochi, Japan is served and talked over during the sessions. Through tasting and listening to stories, cross-cultural and geographical experiences are offered to participants. It is Takako’s plan to develop an ‘EatArt Salon’ where members can directly connect and contribute to the art ecological project ‘Circular Niro’ in Kochi in the future.