Homesick Café 
Grand Opening Now! In your mind and on your tastebuds 
From Ahmeh to Zushi Station 
Mind the Gap 
1,000 triangles for some peace 
L.A. RIOTS 
The Other Lullaby 
A tutorial of simple Japanese phrases from A to Z  
6 people free associating from thought to thought, eyes closed 
Like 1,000 cranes, 1,000 grocery bags 
15 years later...
As it is said, to sing in another language is to possess another's soul
Everything Wrong 
M-Y-MANIFESTO Workshop & Fundraiser for South Central Farm 
Celebrating wrongness together  
We each have a spot within us that seeks change. Now is your chance to extract that truth within yourself. You have a manifesto to write!
Naruhodo! Za Wahrudo / Oh I see! The World 
 
Le'Rationale: Workshop in Empathy 
100 questions for Satan 
Everyone is a contestant in this 40 
minute un-subtitled episode of one of Japan's legendary 1980's travel quiz show. Amateur translators on hand
Explore the politics of empathy through 
group research, discussion, food preparation and other chores 
 
 
 
Synchronized group walking, intangible inheritances and
art for a fire station
The beginnings of collaborative social practice and thinking
about underrepresented culinary sensibilities
Self-portraiture and June Jordan
100 questions for Satan...
 
Readers Chorus, Krystal Krunch, Cristóbal and Cosme: Two
young lads born in Japan, and a 16mm love letter to L.A.
Experimentations with the group reading voice, art in public spaces and the Invisible Kitchen
 

Homesick Café

2008

GRAND OPENING NOW! in your mind and on your tastebuds....There's fusion food, then there's "homesick food." Homesick Café '92 is a menu to an imaginary cafe of the same name which offers a selection of diaspor-ic eats for those who miss Japan, with an American twist (or compromise, depending on how you look at it). All items on the menu are veggie friendly. Homesick Café '92 is the beginnings of a larger project "Invisible Kitchen," a series of projects paying homage to under-represented eats, ingredients, and culinary sensibilities. The menu was first created as part of my contribution to the group exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum called 20 Years Ago Today curated by Kris Kuramitsu and Rita Gonzalez for the California Community Foundation.

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From Ahmeh to Zushi Station

2007

A 5 minute video tutorial of simple Japanese phrases, from A to Z. 

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Mind the Gap

2007

Six people are deep in thought in this 50 minute video as they free associate from word to word, meaning to meaning, with their eyes closed. Each person is assigned a personally significant word to begin - salsa, hip hop, transgender, solitude, pain, South Central, Iranian, India, Hello Kitty, wife, beauty. They are then asked to free associate, using each previous word as a jump off point to the next thought, next word. The video asks how much can we really know from talking heads and contemplates whether if everything in between is what really matters.

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1,000 triangles for some peace

2007

Based on the Japanese tradition of folding 1,000 cranes with well wishes for a sick, loved one, world peace, or in the hopes of getting into a desired school, 1,000 triangles for some peace, replaces the cranes with plastic grocery bags, folded into triangles (an efficient Japanese technique). The mundane and hurried task of storing away a grocery bag is elevated into a moment of calmness and creativity, and the ever over-flowing quantity of plastic bags manifest themselves meaningfully 1,000 times, like a mantra, like a prayer, for some kind of peace.

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L.A. Riots

2007

This poster was created for Exquisite Crisis and Encounters, an exhibition curated by Yong Soon Min for the Asian Pacific American Institute at NYU, commemorating the 15th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. While brain storming for the project collaborating artists Bia Gayotto, Dee Williams, Haruko Tanaka, and social activist Amy Bowen began by asking the questions~ What were the LA Riots about? Who were the players? Where did it begin? Are its wounds healed? Why can't we agree on a name? Will it happen again? The open ended answers led the group to take the letters of L.A.R.I.O.T.S and create a poster that showed the multiplicity of views around the same issue. Inspired by John Cage’s mesostic poems, the poster took on a similar vertical and horizontal structure, where notions of dominance and control (verticality) intersect with democracy and change (horizontality). John Cage believed in social utopia. The poster hopes to act as a reminder that each one of us is equally responsible for social change. 

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The Other Lullaby

2007

As it is said, to sing in another language is to possess another’s soul. Come and join Haruko Tanaka and friends in the “Other tent” for some tea and some singing while we relax and learn a song in Arabic that is sure to bring you calmness and centering when you or another are in most need of it. So why not begin the process of adding a beautiful healing song to your repertoire that you can gently fish out like a touching line from a poem that you’ve committed to memory. No experience or equipment necessary.

Presented in Valencia, California, September 2007 as part of "The Other Project" organized by Evelyn Serrano.

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Everything Wrong

2006

Did you do it WRONG? Have you messed up? Are you on the peripheries of the margin? Then we invite you to join us as we build a critical mass of communal wrongness, celebrate insecurity and difference in a hyper-friendly, come-as-you-really-are, party environment. Stop fitting in and write on The Wall of Wrong, clam up and fall asleep in the Shy Room, split a gut on some wrong eats, , Fish for the Truth, ask your ancestors a question, pick up a new wrong accent, brush up on some old ones, ask 11 year old Gene anything, and much much more as you become part of the Wrong Revolution to be okay with you and almost everybody else. Friday night is “Missing Toof Night” ~ show that you’re missing a tooth and get in free! On “Long 2nd Toe Night” Saturday, show that your 2nd toe is indeed longer than your big toe and line up for free entry.  Presented by Asher Hartman, Seema Kapur, and Haruko Tanaka at Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Santa Monica.

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M-Y-Manifesto Workshop & Fundraiser for

South Central Farm 

2006

M-Y-Manifesto was a manifesto writing workshop and fundraiser for the South Central Farmers who faced eviction in the Spring of 2006. 
  

"Manifestos are not only for Karl Marx, Valerie Solanas, Gandhi, or the Unabomber. We each have spot within ourselves that seeks change. Now is your chance to extract that truth within yourself. You have a manifesto to write! Come take a walk through the farm, breathe the fresh air, each lunch from the market stands, and get energized for the work you’re about to do. We shall dive into traditional and unusual manifestos, view the world in a new way, and help spark ideas for your own manifesto. Bring your pens, favorite journal, because during the latter part of the class we will put our creativity into practice. By the end you will have written a manifesto or have made a great start."

Presented by Matt Dunnerstick and Haruko Tanaka at South Central Farms in South Los Angeles.

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Naruhodo! Za Wahrudo/ 

Oh I see! The World

2004/2007

Everyone is a contestant in this screening of a 40 minute un-subtitled episode  of one of Japan’s legendary 80’s TV travel quiz show “Naruhodo! (ohhhh I see...) The World.” Not to worry, live, amateur simultaneous translators are on hand to try and translate the trivia questions as best as possible. Contestants are encouraged to rely on their deciphering skills of cultural cues and worldly savvy during very possible lulls in translation.

 

The quiz show/screening was presented at Crazyspace in Santa Monica and CUE Art Foundation in New York. 

 

Le'Rationale:
Workshop in Empathy

2004

Join us as we explore the external and internal politics of empathy through group research, discussion, food preparation, and other chores. The evening will be topped off with an improvised grande finale dinner prepared with food leftovers brought to the workshop by you, the participant.
  
"Le'Rationale: Workshop in Empathy" was organized and presented by Wanda Smans and Haruko Tanaka at Crazyspace in Santa Monica.

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100 Questions for Satan

2004

100 questions set to the sound of trees falling in a forest. 

The video was made for the exhibition "100 Artists See Satan" curated by Tyler Stallings for the Grand Central Art Center. It's companion exhibit "100 Artists See God" was curated by John Baldessari and Meg Cranston for the Laguna Art Museum. 

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