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Naoko Tanaka (*1975 in Tokyo)

studied painting and fine art at the Tokyo University of the Arts (MFA) and moved to Germany in 1999 with a scholarship at the Arts Academy of Düsseldorf. 

In 2001, she co-founded the artist collective Ludica, with whom she has been creating video works, installations and stage performances.

2011-2015 Naoko Tanaka created series of Installations-performance „Shadow-Trilogy“, in which she took responsibility for the concept, the stage, sound creation and performance. This Trilogy is touring successfully around Europe and internationally over 14 countries, won prizes a.o. at ImPuls Tanz(Vienna) and at Theater Spektakel (Zürich).

In 2018 she created a staged installation „Still Lives“, which is strongly linked to the individuality of each location. In coproduction with KYOTO EXPERIMENT the production is also staged in the former imperial villa of Nijo Castle, which is a World Heritage Site and symbol of Japanese modernization (Kyoto, JP) .

Long-standing cooperation with theatres such as Sophiensaele (Berlin), PACT Zollverein(Essen).

Her installation format and site-specific works have been presented at different international art festivals among others in Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2015.  

In addition to her solo activities, she performed numerous audiovisual concerts with the musician Oval / Markus Popp from 2011 to 2013. In 2015 PV production for the French musician Colleen / Cecil Shot.

Besides her artistic work Naoko Tanaka gives lectures and runs workshops, for example at the next festival in BUDA in Belgium, at the Theatre Festival Favoriten 2014 in Dortmund and at the Institute of Theatre Studies, Leipzig University. 

She lives and works in Berlin.

Naoko Tanaka

:: Fotografie ::
Installation Works: Naoko Tanaka
Stage Works / von Rosen da beisst sie ab : Naoko Tanaka / das Orchideenzimmer : Florian Sander, Naoko Tanaka / 1,-eins komma : Misa Akiyama, Naoko Tanaka, Eckart Schönlau / SONOFMYSELF : Naoko Tanaka / W-double you : Naoko Tanaka, David Oliveira, Georg Schreiber / des hommes : Naoko Tanaka / KOKO DOKO : Naoko Tanaka, Wiebke Rompel / Bodylandscapes : Naoko Tanaka / Anmerkung134 : Wiebke Rompel, Eckart Schönlau, Naoko Tanaka / Darkland : Naoko Tanaka / UNTER TAGE / LEUCHTEN : Christian Glaus / THE CORNER : Wiebke Rompel, Eckart Schönlau

Copyright 2009-2021 Naoko Tanaka All rights reserved.

Complete Biography


Stage Productions (Installation-Performances)

2023 "Milliarden Jahre Widerhall" (Premiere : SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, DE)

2018 "STILL LIVES" (Premiere : SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, DE)
2016 "Zone" (Premiere: Echigo Tsumari Satoyama Museum / Niigata, JP)
2015 "Unverinnerlicht" (Premiere : SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, DE)
2012 "Absolute Helligkeit" (Premiere : SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, DE)
2011 “Die Scheinwerferin“ (Premiere : SOPHIENSÆLE, Berlin, DE)


Tour of Stage Productions (selected)
2017 “Unverinnerlicht” KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2017, Kyoto, JP
2015 “Absolute Helligkeit” Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale / Echigo Tsumari, Niigata, JP
2015 “Unverinnerlicht” PACT Zollverein, Essen, DE
2014 “Absolute Helligkeit” Theaterfestival Favoriten 2014 / Dortmund, DE
2014 “Die Scheinwerferin“ International Art Festival"Ichihara Art x Mix" / Ichihara, JP
2013 “Absolute Helligkeit” PACT Sommerfest / PACT Zollverein, Essen, DE
2013 “Absolute Helligkeit” 18. Internationales Figurentheater-Festival / Erlangen, DE
2013 “Absolute Helligkeit” Danae Festival / Milano, IT
2013 “Die Scheinwerferin“ ]domaines[ national choreographic center, Montpellier, FR
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ NEXT Festival / Buda, Kortrijk, BE
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ L1Festival / Budapest, HU
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ Zürcher Theater Spektakel / Rote Fabrik, Zurich, CH
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ ImPulsTanz / Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz,Vienna, AT
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ TJCC Festival / Theatre de Gennevilliers, Paris, FR
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ Korzo, Den Haag, NL
2012 “Die Scheinwerferin“ Südpol, Luzern, CH
2011 “Die Scheinwerferin“ Festival INFANT 2011 / Novi Sad, RS

Collaboration: Naoko Tanaka + Oval (Markus Popp) audio visual Performance
2014 Festival Latitudes Contemporaines (Lille,FR)
2012 Sophiensaele (Berlin, DE)
2011 "Paeanumnion"MOUSE ON MARS & musikFabrik, Gast: Oval & The Allophons
(the Cologne Philharmonic, DE)
2011 Roter Salon/Volksbühne (Berlin, DE)


the artists’ collective “Ludica.(Morgan Nardi & Naoko Tanaka)”  Performances 

2009 "THE CORNER" (Premiere : tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE )
2008 "Anmerkung 134/eine Hommage an PPP“ (Premiere : tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE)
2006 "Koko Doko" (Premiere : La ferme du Buison, Paris, France)
2005 "des hommes" (Premiere : Fabrik Heeder, Krefeld, DE)

2005 "W - double you" (Premiere : tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE)
2004 "SONGOFMYSELF" (Premiere : Grand Théâtre de la Ville, LUX)
2003 "1," -eins komma- (Premiere : FFT Juta, Dusseldorf, DE)
2002 "das Orchideenzimmer" (Premiere : Salon des Arts, Dusseldorf, DE)
2001 "von Rosen, da beißt sie ab" (Premiere : Ballhaus, Dusseldorf, DE)


Festival-participation as the artists’ collective“Ludica.(Morgan Nardi & Naoko Tanaka)”

2010 “Tanzplattform2010“, Nurnberg, DE
2009 “International theater festival“, Aarhus, DK
2009 “Festival Temps d’Images“, Dusseldorf, DE
2008 “Festival O!VACIJA” Riga, LV
2008 “Festival Temps d’Images“, Montreal, CA
2006 “Festival Temps d’Images“, Paris, FR
2005 “fused – TanzKunst in Krefeld”, Krefeld,
2004 “Tanzstraße 2004 – contemprary Dance in NRW“, DE
2002 “Festival Cour de Capucins“, LUX

Exhibitions (selected)
2017 "Schatten Trilogie. Objekte, Skizzen, Kollagen" / Weisse Halle/Eisfabrik, Hannover, DE
2017 "Schatten Trilogie. Objekte, Skizzen, Kollagen" / Sophiensaele, Berlin, DE
2016 "Reverie of Substances" / KINARE - Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, Niigata, JP
2015 "Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale" / Echigo Tsumari, Niigata, JP
2014 International Art Festival"Ichihara Art x Mix" / Ichihara, JP
2012 "Scheinbar wirklich" (Nidwaldner Museum, Stans, CH)
2005 "D/J Brand" (Museum der staatlichen Uni. für Bildende Kunst Musik, Tokyo, JP)
2004 "Emprise ART AWARD 2004" (Muesum NRW Forum Dusseldorf /Museum Baden, Solingen, DE)
2003 "Photo photo" (Galerie von der Milwe, Aachen, DE)
2002 "150 Öchsle" (Kunstverein Wilhelmshöhe, Ettlingen, DE)
2001 "HIN - HER" (Medienzentrum, Plasy, CZ)(as "Plenum" with Kenichi Shimojo)
1999 "o.T"(Galerie Lu.Deco, Tokyo, JP) (solo show, as "Plenum" with Kenichi Shimojo)
1998 " Düsseldorf - Soul - Tokyo" (Kunstraum Dusseldorf, DE)(as "Plenum" with Kenichi Shimojo)
1996 "Transmediat" (Staatliche Galerie Kanagawa, Yokohama, JP)(solo show, as "Plenum" with Kenichi Shimojo)
1996 "Millions of days, a drop of water#2" (Studio Kinshicho, JP) (solo show, as "Plenum" with Kenichi Shimojo)

Installations / Filmpresentations / Performances in interdisciplinary contexts 
2021 “WeiTräumige Lichtung” performative Installation  (TheaterhausG7, Mannheim, DE)
2019  Licht-Performance / Japan Lektüren Yuko Chigira & Yoko Tawada (Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, DE)
2015 “Das Licht liefernde / Das Licht verbindende” Installation & Performance (HeimArt Festival, Izumo, JP)
2013 “Reflexionsraum für Die Scheinwerferin“ & Dialog mit Hugues de Montalembert 
 ( ]domaines[ national choreographic center, Montpellier, FR)
2011 Installation for "Anmerkung134" (Schaubühne Lindenfeld/Westflügel, Leipzig, DE) 
2008 "ZENcycle" (Radialsystem, Berlin, DE)-Performance-Presentation
2006 "das Schattenfeld"(Haus Greifenhorst, Krefeld, DE)
2006 "SUPERINTENSE-curated by Ong Keng Sen" (Tanzquartier, Vienna, AT) – Filmpresentation
2005 "Festival Temps d’images"(tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE)
2004 "Kunstfilm Biennale"(Ludwig Museum, Cologne, DE) – Filmpresentation
2004 "animaded."(tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE)
2000 "De Een Minuten Nu", (Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL) – Filmpresentation

Permanent Installation / Collection

2020 - "The Faraway House" Site-Specific Installation (ARS Tsukide, Ichihara, JP)

2013 - "Gnade des Kranichs" (Kranich Museum, Hessenburg, DE) 


2011 Video/Live-drawing for the Production of Fabien Prioville “Nous”
2010 Scenography/Videoinstallation for the Production of Jens Bjerregaard/MANCOPY “Simple Moves” 
2009 Scenography for the Production of Commedia Futura “SCHLAGT EURE ZÄHNE IN MEIN HERZ“
2008 Scenography/Videoinstallation for the Production of melkbook “UNTER TAGE / LEUCHTEN“ 
2008 Scenography/Videoinstallation for the Production of Helge Latonja/Stepptext dance project “Darkland“
2007 Videoinstallation for the Production of Sabine Seume “Bodylandscaps “das blanke Wesen“
2006 Videoinstallation for the Production of Sabine Seume “Die Königin der Farben"

Seminar, Lectures and Workshops 

2014 "Workshop - Licht und Schatten." (Tatendrang / Theaterfestival Favoriten 2014, Dortmund, DE)
2014 Artistic guest professor, Summer Semester2014 (Institut of Theater Study, Leipzig University, DE)
2012 Workshop “Shadow - a tool of cognition” (Buda, Kortrijk, BE)
2010 Lecture "Lebendige Räume” (TU Berlin/depertment of architecture, DE)
2008 Workshop (as Ludica.)(Riga, LTU)
2007 Lecture "BildBewegung" (as Ludica.) (tanzhaus nrw, Dusseldorf, DE)
2007 Lecture "Spazi Vitali" (as Ludica.) (Venedig Biennale, IT)


2012 "ZKB Acknowledgment Prize"/ Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich, CH
2012 "Prix Jardin d' Europe 2012"/ Festival ImPulsTanz, Vienna, AT
2011 "the Aword for the particular expressivity on the border areas between theatrical and other arts or creative fields on 38th International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre"/ Festival INFANT, Novi Sad, Serbia
2002 "Tendances 2002- 1. Preis" Festival Cour des Capucins in Luxembourg(together with Morgan Nardi)
2001 "Heidelberger Puck 2001" with Scenograpy for the Production "Angriffe auf Anne"

2019 Arbeits- und Recherchestipendium Senatskanzlei Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Berlin, DE
2015 Arbeits- und Recherchestipendium Senatskanzlei Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Berlin, DE
2010-12 Scholarship of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, JP
2009 Scholarship of the POLA Art Foundation, JP
1999 Scholarship of the Union Foundation, JP


1999- 2001 Studies by Professor Jetelova at the Art-Academy Dusseldorf, Germany
1997- 1999 Master Studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, Japan (MFA)
1993- 1997 Studies at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts, Japan 
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