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Description: Works by Keiichi Tanaami

©Keiichi Tanaami Photo; Keizo Kioku Courtesy of NANZUKA

©Keiichi Tanaami Photo; Keizo Kioku Courtesy of NANZUKA

Keiichi Tanaami

description of WORKS

Descriptions are compiled by Julian Ross. Translation into Japanese by Taro Masushio. 

Marionettes in Masks / 仮面のマリオネットたち (1965) 
Screened at the 1st Sogetsu Animation Festival in 1965, the film was made in 35mm using the animation equipment owned by animator Yoji Kuri.



Women / おんな (1966) 
Co-directed with the painter Shigetaka Sawada, the film was made in 35mm and screened at the 2nd Sogetsu Animation Festival in 1966.



Commercial War (1971)
In a mixture of cut-out and hand-drawn animation techniques, Tanaami jumbles together symbols of American consumer culture –such as Coca Cola, Superman, Space Age astronauts and hamburgers– with occasional Japanese iconography, such as the squat toilet. The frenetic pace of the animation, the catchphrases and songs on the soundtrack as well as the hand-drawn CRT television monitor that occasionally frames the images makes reference to television commercials.



Flicker Love No.1  (1971) 
After seeing Velvet Underground perform in Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitables in New York, Tanaami became interested stroboscopic effects. This flicker film was conceived as the first of many but this was the only one that was realized.



Good-By Elvis and USA (1971)
A chaotic mixture of hand-drawn animation and magazine cut-outs appropriating American pop culture. With a soundtrack involving music and sounds played in reverse, iconography of war and pop culture are intercut or merged together with images of eroticism and consumption. The film screened at the 3rd Sogetsu Animation Festival 1971.



Good-By Marilyn  (1971)
Animated to the song ‘Manatsu no dekigoto’ (Midsummer Happening) by Miki Hirayama, the film is a playfully erotic animation with appropriated images that include Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, Super Man, Roy Lichtenstein prints and the Glico chocolate icon of a man running through the finishing line of a race. Screened at the 3rd Animation Festival at Sogetsu Art Center in the same year that Tanaami participated in the exhibition ‘Watashi no Marilyn Monroe’ (My Marilyn Monroe) at Gallery Décor, Tokyo.

平山三紀の「真夏の出来事」に合わせたアニメーション映像で、マリリン・モンロー、ミッキーマウス、ロイ・リヒテンシュタインのプリント、グリコのシンボルマークである走る男性像を引用した、陽気でかつエロティックなフィルム。東京のGallery Décorにて、「私のマリリン・モンロー」展出品そして同年、草月アートセンター第3回アニメフェスティバルで上映。


A triple projection film where the projections are positioned side-by-side.



PUSSY (1971) 
A double-projection film where the projections are positioned side-by-side. The subject of the film is images taken from Screw, a pornographic tabloid newspaper, editions of which Tanaami bought from newspaper stands in New York during his trip in 1969. He color printed the black-and-white photographs to apply different colors for psychedelic effect.



SHE (1971) 


GREEN・RED (1971) 
A photograph of a seated heterosexual couple, naked apart from their long necklaces, is rephotographed with a fixed camera that zooms outwards in one take. The colors subtly shift as the camera zooms out from their arm to eventually reveal their bodies over twelve minutes. Screened at the 3rd Sogetsu Animation Festival 1971.

長いネックレス以外裸という異性愛カップルが座っている写真を、固定カメラの1テイクで外側にズームするという形で、再度撮影した作品。12分間にわたってカメラが腕から次第にズームアウトすると、微妙に色が変化し、最終的に二人の身体が露わとなる。 1971年の第3回草月アニメーションフェスティバルで上映。


JAM POT (1971) 
Described by filmmaker Nobuhiro Kawanaka as ‘sexier than sex itself’, the film intercuts between close-up images of a naked heterosexual couple and long shots of a bamboo forest taken from above using a helicopter. The edited cut was projected and rephotographed using high contrast black-and-white film, which was printed in 80-100 types of color gradations at the laboratory, creating what looked like a posterization effect.



The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors / 彼女の独裁者達によって裸にされた性服の処女研究 (1972)
An erotic animation made for the late-night television program 11PM with a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s work of the same title.



OH! YOkO! (1973)
Made to accompany the song ‘Oh! Yoko!’ by John Lennon, the hand-drawn animation playfully appropriates and imagines moments in the lives of the celebrity couple, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in pop caricature versions, with occasional appearances from Elvis Presley and the Yellow Submarine. The animation was aired on the late-night television program 11PM.

ジョン・レノンの曲「OH YOKO」に伴うようにと作られた作品で、手書きのアニメーションがいたずらにセレブリティー。カップルであるジョン・レノンとヨーコ・オノの生活をポップな風刺スタイルで想像し利用。エルビス・プレスリーとイエロー・サブマリンもしばしば登場する。深夜テレビ番組の11PMで放映。


U.F.O (1973) 
Without using a camera, this film was made on an optical printer with a countdown leader as its primary visual subject. Tanaami gave frame-by-frame color printing instructions to his film laboratory by phone to create the film.

この作品はカメラを使用せず、カウントダウンリーダーを主な視覚対象として光学式プリンターを使い制作。 田名網はこのフィルムの制作のために、カラー印刷の指示を各フレームごとにラボに電話連絡していた。


This film was made based on Tanaami’s fear of heights and his experience of seeing New York from the rooftop of a 50-floor apartment. Even the quotidian activity of walking across a zebra crossing becomes an abstract image observed from these heights. Using the process of color separation, the colous shift across each frame and create a surreal universe. 



The film is comprised of a countdown leader that goes backwards and forwards mixed in with an animated Marilyn Monroe seductively eating a banana. It was made for the 1st 100-ft Film Festival, organized by the Underground Center, with a line-up of works made with one 100-ft reel of film.



Crayon Angel (1975)
In Crayon Angel, Tanaami recalls his childhood memories of wartime Japan during the Second World War. The animation mixes wartime footage, family photographs and pop imagery, much of which is seen through fusuma-like grids that cut apart the image and distance it from the viewer. The soundtrack includes a haunting heartbeat, sounds of sirens and Robert Plant’s moans. The title refers to a campaign ran during the war by a confectionary company that asked children to submit crayon drawings of their brand icon, an angel, which had a profound emotional impact on Tanaami as a child.



Sweet Friday / 優しい金曜日 (1975)
An animation mixing hand-drawn and cut-out techniques depicting the daily rituals of weekday morning that is occasionally interrupted by flights of fantasy delivered in stroboscopic flashes. Showing scenes of brushing teeth and face washing, Tanaami describes the film to be like a self-portrait on his favorite day of the week.



Human Events / 人間模様 (1975) 
A projection with six projectors, Human Events is a film made for a dance performance by Tsujimura Kazuko at Kinokuniya Hall, Shinjuku, Tokyo. The images comprise of extreme close-ups of the dancer’s body that is massaged by a finger as the colour of the image changes. Arranged in a two (side)-by-three (down) composition, different parts of the body gets scattered in ways that defy the familiar order of the anatomy.



Artificial Paradise / 人工の楽園 (1975)
Psychedelic –and at times sinister– music by Shinpei Kikuchi accompanies a disorienting display of reproduced imagery taken from magazines and posters of sunny beaches and bikini models. Tanaami made positive and negative reprographic prints of these images onto transparent cel sheets, placed them on top of one another, and twisted them in different directions to create a moiré effect. Speaking on the work, Tanaami explained his paradise only exists in the world of reproduction.



The subject of the film is Tanaami himself stood at the corner of the frame and looking away from the camera towards the sun and the woods at different seasonal moments. He set up four 8mm projectors with two of the images mirroring the other two and rephotographed them. Repeating the process once again, he ended up with sixteen frames in one image, half of which mirroring the other half, in order to create an illusion of a man, created by two halves stood in the corner of the frame, observing multiple suns and endless lines of trees.



This film involves Tanaami walking around his studio with a camera as if he were an explorer.



Spectacle / 光景 (1975) 
A psychedelic film using four projectors. The film comprises of thirteen scenes, including a woman and man shot from the front. Shot frame-by-frame, printed onto transparent cel sheets and layered on top of one anther, the halftone dots from reprographics expand and contract to create a moiré effect.



SHOOT THE MOON / 月を撃て(1975) 


WHY (1975)
A boxing ring turns into a stage for abstract animation where the punches thrown in the match and the halftone dots in reprographics gradually become indistinguishable. Tanaami shot a boxing match on a Motordrive camera, made two thousand offset prints, and rephotographed each of them. He explains his inspiration for the work being the experience of watching a boxing match on television but finding the newspaper print the next morning better capturing the exhilaration of the sport.

この作品では、ボクシング・リングが抽象的アニメーションの舞台に変わり、マッチで交わされるパンチとレプログラフィーのハーフトーン・ドットの区別が、次第にできなくなる。 田名網はモーター駆動のカメラでボクシングマッチを撮影し、2000枚のオフセットプリントを作成して、その後、それぞれを再撮影した。テレビでボクシングの試合を見て、翌朝に新聞がスポーツの爽快感をよりよく捕らえているということを見てインスピレーションを受けたと説明している。


4 EYES (1975)
The human eye, a well-known motif in psychedelic culture, is duplicated and intensified in this cinematic trip. Drawing from his experiences designing discotheques, Tanaami presents two prints of the same film in double projection with a time delay ––one projected a few seconds earlier than the other–– to suggest the mind slipping out of consciousness.



Casa Blanca / カサブランカ (1976) 
Tanaami gathered 1500 black-and-white stills from the film Casablanca (1942) and colored them.



Jekyll and Hyde / ジキルとハイド (1977) 
Tanaami selected 1450 stills from the film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) and rephotographed each still with a color filter, creating a world nothing like the original feature. This film is one of several in a series of Tanaami’s works where he uses stills from Hollywood films as raw material and applies the techniques of printing.



Frankenstein (1978) 
After buying a book of 1500 stills from Frankenstein (1931) in a bookstore in Ginza, Tokyo, Tanaami reproduced each still onto 35mm slides, projected them, and rephotographed each one, at times superimposing it with a 16mm projection of waves or night scenes. Coloring each slide, the labor-intensive technique was applied to play with afterimages and fulfill Tanaami’s urge to reassemble one of his favorite films.



Youshi Kei (Preview) / 幼視景(予告編) (1978)
Made for the 2nd 100-ft Film Festival organized by Image Forum, Tokyo.



Youshi Kei (Prologue) / 幼視景(序章) (1978)


Youshi Kei (Another Rainbow City) / 幼視景(もう1つの虹色都市) (1979)
The second in the series Youshi Kei (1978-1980), Tanaami appropriates his own images (from 4 Eyes, Sweet Friday and more) and layers them on top of one another through the rephotographing technique. Presenting images from childhood to adolescence, the music becomes increasingly psychedelic.

幼視景シリーズ(1978-1980年)第2弾で田名網は自分の画像(4 Eyes、優しい金曜日とその他から)を使用し、再撮影のテクニックを使い、それらを重ねている。幼少時代から青春期にかけての画像を使用していて、進むにつれ音楽はどんどんとサイケデリックになる。


past CCJ Projects

2018: keiichi tanaami collection survey