Artist Statement

Conditions to stand
“Ta chi ta sa_” is an artwork that I have been doing with my own body since 1995. I stand up from a horizontal position lying on the ground or floor, leaving myself to gravity. It is an act of standing with as little movement as possible with carefully following the urge of the body to stand, with asking the body how it wants to stand in the vertical state.
It takes about 60 minutes while stopping and returning, and finally it reaches the standing state.

What is the true horizontal or the true vertical on the surface of the earth, whereas the curved surface of the moving earth? Are they exist only on the point here and at this moment now or not? Are they true thing? You can say that it is an act of looking for something with measuring by the body.

Since 2015, Ihoda has executed a series in which the act of “Ta chi ta sa” confronts the paintings of American Abstract Expressionist master Barnett Newman, who was the artist influenced me the most and inspired me the origin of this activity. Now we are planning a Tour of "Ta chi ta sa confronting Barnett Newman."

What is Ta chi ta sa ?

Ihoda herself coined this word to express the body's urge to stand vertically. It is a compound word made by adding the auxiliary verb "tai/ to wish" to the verb "tatsu (tachi)/ to stand" in Japanese. It is further nominalized by adding "sa".

What is Ta chi ta sa ? .. 1

That was an experience in the dance workshop.
In a well-ventilated, free and loose body, I was listening to my body and asking how 'you' wanted to move and what kind of movements would arouse 'you.'

And in various exercises, when I was 'gradually standing up little by little,' I sensed a kind of feeling that made me suddenly realize or fully understand something. I could feel myself both 'who had studied painting' and 'who was making the body moving.'

There was a painting where soared the world I had never experienced and existed the space I had never imagined, though the painting itself was flat. The painting looked prim hanging on the wall in a vertical state in spite of its magnificence. Occasionally, it looked without gravity in a very cool way.

I had been longing for such a painting; however, I had not been good at capturing it. I had been struggling in the real world awkwardly.

But when I could finally sense a vertical line within my spine from top to bottom of my body standing completely upright on the floor, after the movement of heavy, tight, twisted and halted body, sometimes in a weird form anything but beauty; and when I could finally sense tranquility, arose the feeling that I could have come closer to the panting!

June 23, 2011

What is Ta chi ta sa ? .. 2

It is a natural daily movement to get up to move; however, what is 'carefully to follow the urge of my body to stand up?'

It is difficult to explain, but the most important thing is that it is different from trying to move my body consciously. My consciousness wakes up right after the movement of my body, to have a keen insight into the nature of the movement.

I can feel a part of the chest start moving and twisting a little.
To which direction do 'you' want to move? I ask, then, oh, to that direction?
Suddenly my right leg moves; the left arm goes up this much; then hmm, my hipbone pinpoints the floor and it hurts.
Oh, it stops moving suddenly; what's coming next?
Let's wait.
Oh! I can feel a gentle breeze, then.

This, for example, is a live commentary on my performance.

Of course, every performance has different movement.
So each “Ta chi ta sa_” is one and only experience of my body on the spot.
It is exactly a LIVE performance!

July 2, 2011

What is Ta chi ta sa ? .. 3

There are several stories that people shared with me after my performance. They started talking a lot about what they found and felt from my performance, when I was telling them on my future plan, showing them a series of time-lapse photos of my performance.

A man who just lost his job pointed at the photo of my being curled up to crouch down and said, "This is me now, shocked and confused. But I know I can finally stand up after rolling on the ground and struggling with the difficulty," with his finger following a series of the photos.

Another woman told me something like what the life is. For her, my performance looked like a life of her who was trying to step ahead without her feet on the ground. But sometimes such a brave trial was necessary. One of her older friends that she respected was able to balance prudence with such bravery, she said.

Hmm...I had never expected such profound stories from them inspired by my performance! It was when I found the possibility and the meaning of my performance I had never imagined! Their stories slowly but surely urge me to keep the lifelong performance going.

In the dance workshop of Iwashita Toru that I attended, Mr. Iwashita gave several subtitles or words to the exercise of standing up in a small movement,
'Like those who stand up for the first time,'
'Like a long trip,'
'Like a long time when a tree grows by absorbing water through its roots to stretch its branches and becomes huge,' and
'Like living a life.'

July 16, 2011

What is Ta chi ta sa ? .. 4

Where are you from? When asked, I answer, "From Tokyo." Then, most of them continue, "Are your parents from Tokyo, too?"

My father is from Kagoshima and my mother is from Fukushima. I have a mixed identity of two different prefectures and was brought up in Tokyo. Sometimes Eddokko, a Tokyo local says, "How come you call yourself a person from Tokyo???"

What am I supposed to answer, then?
Where you are from, where you grew up, who you are descended from...what is the right answer?

If you don't know where you are from or who you are, my body represents myself here and now. This is all I can believe in.
So I ask my body... The answers from my body are believable.

The answers are so different depending on physical condition, time, or environment that I sometimes become anxious that it is exactly my body.

Suffice to say, the body is my hometown.

This is how it started, to listen to the urge of my body to stand up.

July 21, 2011