L.A.-based artist Chiho Harazaki has made her mark with works constructed entirely of ordinary adhesive tape, realizing pieces of impressive intricacy and impact.
On Tuesday, Aug. 6, she and her husband, musician Matt Piper, will host “Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” an artistic and musical event to observe the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, at the Blue Whale jazz club in Little Tokyo.
The night will be aimed at spreading love and promoting a peaceful future for society, and will feature notable musicians, including acclaimed pianist Motoko Honda, award-winning multi-woodwind player Vinny Golia, frequent Hans Zimmer collaborator percussionist Satnam Ramgotra, and Piper on bass.
At 8:16 a.m. on Aug. 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima. A second atomic bomb was released over Nagasaki three days later.
“On this night, as we contemplate the destructive energy that humans have unleashed against their fellow man in the past (and continue to unleash in the present), we also take a positive stand together for love,” Harazaki wrote. “We stand together against hate. As friends grateful to be assembled in a peaceful place, we direct our energy toward reducing suffering, and promoting healing.”
Harazaki was born and raised in the countryside of Japan and spent the summers of her childhood with her sculptor uncle at his studio in the mountains. His lifestyle and his thoughts about art were a big influence on her. She later moved to Los Angeles. Spending time with people from many different cultures and backgrounds has helped her to discover her purpose in life as an artist.
She uses adhesive tape for her art, often using common black plastic electrical tape. Tiny pieces of tape, cut by precision knife and scissors, create each detail used to compose a whole picture. Her large, 7-by-7-foot piece “Hiroshima Black Rain” will be shown publicly for the first time at this event for one night only, along with several other pieces and a short film.
The hand-cut shapes and lines are reminiscent of traditional Japanese arts like woodcut and paper cutting. Informed by her experiences living in both Japan and America, Harazaki’s subject matter includes a variety of cultural, historical, and narrative elements as well as social comment.
“The refuse of tape: tiny, useless, leftover scraps; can become perfect components of an artwork. I found the beauty of imperfection in tape art,” she has said.
The Blue Whale is located on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. in Little Tokyo.
Doors open at 8 p.m. with music starting at 9. Admission: $15.
For more information, visit www.chihoharazaki.com/bluewhale.