Hiromi Tango is a Japanese-Australian artist whose work spans sculpture, photography, installation and performance. Her works are often characterised by large-scale installation, which involves community engagement and participation. Over recent years, her practice has become increasingly focused on exploring neuroscientific concepts through arts engagement, posing questions around neuroplasticity, empathy and epigenetics in her quest to effect healing and well-being through arts.
The art of Hiromi Tango often uses metaphors from nature to represent brain processes, her works developing through a combination of research, reflection and ritual. Whilst Tango’s practice is grounded in a fascination with scientific discovery, she remains steadfast in her role as an artist being one of constant questioning and blurring boundaries, the ability to ask ‘what if?’ without the scientific proof. Personal experiences – whether her own or those of community participants — drive her exploration of specific ideas and areas of research, such as dementia and aging, child development or traumatic emotional experiences. In this way, her work creates a bridge between scientific concepts and individual realities.
She has also collaborated with researchers in the health and sciences, including a recent project with Dr. Emma Burrows of the Florey Institute in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Biennale Lab, Melbourne Festival. Other health/arts collaborations include a series of commissioned essays on the role of arts engagement in brain development and recovery by Dr. Patricia Jungfer, and Dance, a commission as the 2013 Jackson Bella Room Artist at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, where she created an immersive environment for children with specific learning needs.
Her works have been exhibited at major national institutions, including Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the Adelaide Biennale, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, as well as regional projects in Hobart, Cairns, Lismore and Western Australia. Her works have been featured at international exhibitions include la Maison Folie, Mons, Belgium, Art Brussels, Art Basel Hong Kong and Singapore. Winner of the 2015 Gold Coast Art Prize, Hiromi’s work has also been included in several finalist exhibitions including the recent NSW Visual Arts Fellowship, Fishers Ghost Art Awards, and Bowness Photography Prize.
Previous collaborative works with her husband Craig Walsh include FIVE (2013 – 2014)– a project that focused on mental health in Western Australian mining communities, Digital Odyssey – a Museum of Contemporary Art Regional Touring Project, Home – Gwangju, Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012) and Traces – Blue, Setouchi Triennale, Japan (2013). Tango has also undertaken major community engagement works as an individual artist, including: Art Magic, The Climbing Plant, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery (2015); Monster Hotel at the ‘Out of the Box Festival’ at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (2014); and Pistil, a sculptural site-specific installation that was created for Contemporary Australia: Women, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery Of Modern (2012).