Atsuko Tanaka’s Electric Dress (1956): Sample Essay

Sample Essay

Words 1,335


One of the founders of the Gutai Movement Atsuko Tanaka was born in 1932 in Osaka. She remained a member of this movement till 1965. She is the creator of the “Electric Dress” (1956) her most popular work and undoubtedly one of the most stunning and successful pieces of art. (Koplos, 2004) The sculpture is a blend of the traditional kimono which is interpreted in terms of the industrial technology. The sculpture has to be worn, initially by the artist and in stage performances. The work consists of over a hundred light bulbs and wires and neon tube lights that are flashed after every two and a half minutes.

Tanaka concentrated on how to expand the boundaries of art particularly painting and tried to broaden the potential of this medium—according to Tampon she wanted to include “sound, time, space, alternative materials, and alternative forms of visual representation such as technical drawings.” (Tiampo, 2004) By doing this Tanaka was able to blur the lines between art and life. However, she is not given credit for this accomplishment which is wrongly recognized in another art movement.

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