Chika Takabayashi (*1980, Japan) completed her first Bachelor in Media Design at Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, Japan. After she turned her focus to the visual arts and completed her second Bachelor of Fine Arts with emphasis on ‘Monumental Art’ at AKI Akademie for Fine Arts and Design, Enschede/NL. Since 2009, Takabayashi is based in Berlin, Germany. Since then she works as a visual artist and stage designer and prop maker, mostly for the contemporary dance company Dorky Park by Constanza Macras. With her own work she participated in renown exhibitions and artist residencies in Europe and Asia: amongst others a residency at the European Ceramic Work Centre (EKWC), Netherlands and at the Gyeonggi International Ceramix Biennale, South Korea. Takabayashi’s art work reflects her work as a stage designer. Her multimedia work is mainly three-dimensional, often an installation for a specific space. She creates her work with a large range of materials and media such as ceramics, textile, plastic, wood, food, video and sound. However yeast, baked and unbaked bread-dough reappears in a variety of shapes and installations of amazing size and is her preferred medium. The shapes of her sculptures and objects are diverse, yet often remind us of (prehistoric) creatures. It is life itself, that is Chika Takabayashi’s main topic.
Lots of different food, that we are eating contains staple foods like rice, corn, potatoes and wheat. In particular, wheat is milled and becomes white powder, which is further processed to become other foodstuffs. Wheat powder, named flour attracts us very much as a material. White powder can turn into many different forms such as bread. It is a natural bacteria called yeast, that determines how much the dough is changing. We feel something miraculous about the presence of yeast and the change that occurs due to the combination with water and flour. With this installation, we are presenting the presence and activity of yeast as something holy.
The installation will show the fermentation process of bread dough itself. Additional cheer and blessing humming that we recorded from different people and edited plays in a loop. The humming is based on a short part of Symphony No. 6 by Beethoven. There is scientific evidence that protein reacts to sound and some people believe that this specific part is stimulating yeast to grow.