Rica Takashima

The Blog

Flyer, flyer, and flyer

I would like to share my story of flyers. During the time that Anthony and I were still working on the sculptures, many passer-by people stopped to watch our work, because they saw the progress day by day. They were interested in and eager to know what it was, and why we worked on them. We enjoyed talking and explaining our art pieces to those people. Then I decided to make and print a flyer of FLOW15 and handed out them so people can know the art show lasts to November, and enjoy BBQ, biking, art, etc, at Randall’s Island for half an year. After the opening day, I went to East Harlem Café with another flyer. Michelle, the model of the main sculpture was out, but other café staffs took and put the flyer at café. I drew a mini-Manga on back of flyer. I hope people got interested why Japanese Manga artist picked Puerto Rican culture as theme to sculpture. On June 6, I went to La Casa Azul Bookstore. Why? It was the third anniversary of the bookstore(Click here to read more).

She is Pretty in Pink! "El Barrio Comes in All Colors, Shapes and Sizes"

I finished my installment at 7pm just before the day of opening.
On the opening day, many people came by. I explained about my pieces, how I got inspiration to make these sculptures from Puerto Rican culture and history to mix with my Manga style. Then I sketched the visitors in Manga style on tiny sketchbooks to give away. During sketching, visitors and I were sitting on the legs of the main woman sculpture. It was very fun!
Also Michelle, who is a model of the main sculpture came!
She was very excited and happy.
One day in last November at El Barrio, when she just talked to me by chance. The idea of making sculpture of her popped up to me, then it became real now! Her actual hair color is a beautiful black, and I think she would be pretty in pink. Then I drew her hairline in pink.

The last time I worked this hard to dig a hole was when I was trying to make a hole in the sand at a beach when I was in elementary school

Anthony and I went to the site to prep install, where is just footage of 103rd street walk bridge.
Deb kindly dug the holes for concrete. One is big and three are for small sculptures. We have to make form to concrete.
I cut plywood and lumber at the site. Thanks for Ryobi battery type tools. We can’t work without you. Ground is much harder than I thought. It is not just soil. There were many rocks, wires, plastics, pieces of building block, tile, etc inside. There were no bugs or animals though. The last time I worked this hard to dig a hole was when I was trying to make a hole in the sand at a beach when I was in elementary school.
Anthony’s eyes were shining because he loves to use concrete. He used many tools that I didn't know. I tried to use them but every single tool was heavy and it made me exhausted.

Painting, Painting, and Painting

We are two weeks behind the schedule because we failed not only the plastic but also the woodwork. I will do my best, but can’t see what is going to happen. My brain is melting down.

The main sculpture

I asked Anthony Cardillo to help me for the project. He advised me on several points, and I end up making some changes on the original plan.
Anthony is a local carpenter artist, and helps me with his building and carpentry skills. He was a trade carpenter in the union for 17 years, but due to his brain cancer and diabetes he experienced some vision and hearing loss and could no longer work on high-rise buildings and dangerous construction sites. The art and small scale carpentry jobs are what makes him so happy now.
He explains of details of tools and how they work. Of course I tried to cut the boards, drills, nails and screws. I think I do well.

The Artist

Rica Takashima(b. 1965, Tokyo, Japan)

Rica Takashima's questions towards traditional Japanese patriarchal family values and discrimination against LGBT people motivated her to start conceptual participatory public art and large scale street installations. Since 1995, she expanded her portfolio to Manga (Japanese comic books) as well. Using fun modes of expression, she challenges viewers to rethink their pre-existing social values and customs regarding things like gender, age and race, and to feel more empathy towards different elements of society. Rica was born in Tokyo, Japan. She immigrated to the United States with her family, and currently lives in New York. Rica received a B.A. from Tokyo University of Arts, Japan.

For More Information

Website: aozoraart.com