Hiromi Tango is a Japanese-Australian artist whose work spans sculpture, photography, installation and performance. Hiromi is dedicated to generate healing conversations through arts engagement. Reacting to an age in which human relationships are being eclipsed by the globalisation and virtualisation of communication, the artist’s practice is often collaborative, performative and site-specific. Her immersive installations comprise vibrant sculptural accumulations of donated objects, materials and stories. They become mnemonic traces of feelings and interactions, and the ensuing catalysis of emotion and recognition forms the affective crux of her art. In this way, although Tango’s works are highly personal and autobiographical, they can also be read as universal tropes of collective experience.
Over recent years, her practice has become increasingly focused on exploring neuroscientific concepts through arts engagement, posing questions around neuroplasticity, empathy and epigenetics in her quest to effect healing and well-being through arts. Often using metaphors from nature to represent brain processes, her works develop through a combination of research, reflection and ritual. Whilst Tango’s practice is grounded in a fascination with scientific discovery, she remains steadfast in her role as an artist being one of constant questioning and blurring boundaries, the ability to ask ‘what if?’ without the scientific proof. Personal experiences – whether her own or those of community participants — drive her exploration of specific ideas and areas of research, such as dementia and aging, child development or traumatic emotional experiences. In this way, her work creates a bridge between scientific concepts and individual realities.
She has also collaborated with researchers in the health and sciences, including a Healing Garden residency with Arterie @ Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney (June 2018). Other recent projects include: a collaboration with Dr. Emma Burrows of the Florey Institute in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Biennale Lab, Melbourne Festival; a series of commissioned essays on the role of arts engagement in brain development and recovery by Dr. Patricia Jungfer; and Dance, a commission as the 2013 Jackson Bella Room Artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, where she created an immersive environment for children with specific learning needs.
Her works have been exhibited at major national institutions, including Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the Adelaide Biennale, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery Of Modern, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, as well as regional projects in Hobart, Cairns, Lismore and Western Australia. Her works have been featured at international exhibitions include Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, la Maison Folie, Mons, Belgium, Art Brussels, Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai, Art Jog, and Singapore Art Stage. Recipient of 2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, Winner of the 2015 Gold Coast Art Prize, and recipient of 2011 Qantas Encouragement of Contemporary Art Award, Hiromi’s work has also been included in several finalist exhibitions including the recent 2018 Wynne Prize exhibition, 2017 NSW Visual Arts Fellowship, Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2017, Fishers Ghost Art Awards 2016, and Bowness Photography Prize 2016.
Tango’s major community engagement works include: Healing Garden (Art Dubai 2018 and Art Jog 2018) , Art Magic ( Lismore Regional Gallery, Cairns Regional Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, all 2014 – 2015); Hiromi Hotel: Moon Jellies (Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 2013), Monster Hotel at the ‘Out of the Box Festival’ at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (2014); and Pistil, a sculptural site-specific installation that was created for Contemporary Australia: Women, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery Of Modern (2012).
Collaborative works with artist Craig Walsh include upcoming project A FORCE (Brisbane September 2018), as well as previous projects FIVE (2013 – 2014) – a project that focused on mental health in Western Australian mining communities, Digital Odyssey – a Museum of Contemporary Art Regional Touring Project, Home – Gwangju, Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012) and Traces – Blue, Setouchi Triennale, Japan (2013).