Koki Tanaka is a Japanese artist living in Los Angeles whose work is about manipulating normal objects. He doesn’t warp them into giant sculptures or use a ton of little things like buttons to make mosaics. He instead allows little moments of normalcy, small or big gestures to stand on their own as some sort of art. As was done with his 2012 reflective Beholding Performer, Performing Beholder and booming 2008 Then, a whole bunch of basins crash down to the floor of the Museum of Modern Art, he uses common objects for big reactions.
What can be seen as his thesis statement of sorts is the 2006 video Everything Is Everything. The six minute video has the artist taking normal, usually boring and utilitarian objects and using them in amazing ways. The quick gestures he gives them not only help you reframe how you look at them but also are intended to inspire great laughter. His work is about strength in numbers and juxtaposition. If a boot is used as a means to make a roll of aluminum foil disappear, then what does it become? What about when you consecutively crumple up a series of six cups? Or spray a bunch of toilet paper with water? When edited together as two to ten second clips, you get moments of hysteria. You get a series of mini-Happenings. You get the ordinary becoming extraordinary.
The piece is quite humorous and makes you rethink common gestures, seeing them as little performance art pieces always in the act. If you want more, may we recommend the equally as alluring Buckets & Balls. Watch Everything Is Everything below.