Haruko Tanaka (b. 1974, Queens, New York, d. 2019, North Fork, California) was an artist working in photography, film, graphic design, collaborative events, performances and workshops. She was one half of the educational psychic duo Krystal Krunch with Asher Hartman, and was a core member of The Readers Chorus in Los Angeles. Born in the U.S. and raised in England and Japan, Haruko moved to Los Angeles where she was trained at the University of Southern California (BA Fine Art, 1997) and the California Institute of the Arts (MFA Photography, 2003). 

 

Her visual work was presented at The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, the Japanese American National Museum, Museum of Modern Art, CUE Art Foundation, Armory Center for the Arts as well as the International Film Festival Rotterdam and Asian American International Film Festival. She received public art commissions from Sustainable Little Tokyo and The California Community Foundation. Haruko was a 2018 recipient of the MacDowell Colony Fellowship in Film/Video Art.

 

From 2007 to her death, Haruko was one half of the educational psychic duo Krystal Krunch with her collaborator Asher Hartman. Working closely with Machine Project, Krystal Krunch taught workshops at such places as the Walker Art Center, Pulitzer Art Foundation, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Melon University, Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre in London and Extrapool in The Netherlands in addition to many colleges and universities in the U.S. In 2014, Haruko became a core member of The Readers Chorus founded by artists Sara Roberts and Jordan Biren.  The Readers Chorus have performed original and adapted works at numerous LA venues including Machine Project, The Velasvelasay Panorama, Automata, The Museum of Jurassic Technology and The Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Haruko's final 16mm film, The Soroban and the Present, ruminates on forgotten places and LA freeways. Ghosts See Ghosts, her score for a Readers Chorus will be appearing in the Winter 2020 issues of X-TRA. At the time of her death she was working on two projects: she was beginning a new film called Cristobal & Cosme: Two young lads born in Japan, about the story of the first two Japanese people who set foot in England in 1588. She was also creating what would have been her most ambitious Readers Chorus, based on the recitation of the names of the 1,000 Buddhas said to set foot on earth during the life span of the planet.