Organized by The Nippon Club
Wood Sculptures by Takaoki Tajima An amusing world of little wooden creatures


  • Sculptor Takaoki Tajima was born in Japan into a family of five-generation sculptors specialized in making Buddha statues. He was not even twelve-months old when he held a chisel for the first time in his life and his curiosity grew bigger and bigger as he grew up. He dreamed becoming a wrestler, an essayist or a rock star, however, he already wrote that his dream was a sculptor in his kindergarten year book.

    Mr. Tajima creates a variety of works from marionettes to figurative art or female statues, and the most popular works are the little, two-heads-tall wooden creatures. Many two-heads-tall characters such as Hello Kitty, Doraemon, and Bikkuriman exist in anime and/or manga which are unique to Japanese culture. Equally important as the concept of “kawaii”, the two-heads-tall characters serve an important role in the world of modern art expressing Japanese culture and the characters designed and sculpted by Mr. Tajima are great examples. When Mr. Tajima carves a small creature out of a wood, paint colors on it, and draw eyes and other features, the creature gains a soul as if it is alive.

    Mr. Tajima’s energy for creating new lives (works) day by day is remarkable. His fans wait for his new works and the opening day of his exhibition often has a long waiting line. The book of his works which was published in February this year gained immense popularity that it was already asked for reprints. Next March, his works will be featured in Art Fair Tokyo, the biggest art fair in Japan.

    One of the most important accomplishments Mr. Tajima achieved as a sculptor is not only making beautiful works, but also making sculptures which were believed to be existing only in the arts into something very close to people’s daily lives. We are very honored to host an exhibition to feature the works by Mr. Tajima, a maverick in the modern art as well as the key person to lead the future world of the arts. This show will definitely be welcomed by art lovers of any nationality. About 50 comical and cute creatures await you at the gallery.

    In cooperation with New York Hilton Midtown and HIS

    Dates: January 23 – February 5, 2020
    Place: The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club (7th Floor)
    145 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun: Closed
    Admission: Free
    Contact:(212)581-2223 / info@nipponclub.org

    Shidoro-Modoro Sculpture Workshop

    Let’s create “Chikuwa” (a tube-shaped fish paste cake)

    Instructor: Takaoki Tajima, sculptor (specialized in wood carving)
    Time & Place: Saturday, January 25, 2020 1:30pm-3:30pm (Capacity: 20 people)
    Participation Fee: $20 Nippon Club member, $30 non-member
    Material Fee: $35 (including a block of camphor tree, beeswax, acrylic paints, etc.)
    What to bring: Cut resistance gloves and apron


    Takaoki Tajima, Sculptor: Born in Chiba prefecture in Japan in 1973, graduated from Aichi University of the Arts and Music majoring in sculpture. Currently a member of Shinseisaku Kyoukai, an organization of visual artists in Japan. Director of “Shidoro-Modoro Sculpture Studio” in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. Awardee of 1999 International Takifuji Art Award, 2009 Kitano-Doubutsu Award Exhibition Prize, 2014 and 2016 Shinsei Artist Award. Published the first book “The Frist Class at Shidoro-Modoro Sculpture Studio” and solo exhibition “Takaoki Tajima Wood Carving Sculpture Exhibition – Why He Carved These Works” at Tsutaya Book Store in Daikanyama, Tokyo in Spring 2019.


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