For her public art exhibit, she creates many peek-a-boo boards on wood panels, which are tailored for a particular theme of the show. When she creates Manga comics, she makes stories, draws pictures, and submits her work to a publisher. Basically, she wears two hats. But at the time of her workshop, her public art pieces, Manga style comics, and participants all converge together.
Her workshop is designed to be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to participate; pre-k kids, my 8-year-old son, parents, grand parents, college kids, teachers, office workers, designers, artists, etc., all can enjoy his/her own creation as well as the pieces created by Ms. Takashima. This is because she has a strong belief that art shouldn't be an exclusive property of a select few, who understand sophisticated contemporary art theory. People should be able to touch, enjoy, and create art on a daily basis. And that helps to nurture healthy diversity in the art world.
Ms. Takashima is from Japan, where art is considered to be an occupation that tends to be passed down from generation to generation in a family. As a matter of fact, she came from a family which practices one of the traditional Japanese art forms. She absorbed that traditional Japanese aesthetic value, broke out of the mold, and created her own world. That's why her art is universal, yet very Japanese at the same time.
Ms. Takashima's peek-a-boo art is exhibited through March 31 at Fort Lee Library Gallery (320 Main Street, Fort Lee, NJ 07024).