Ai Takahashi lives and works in Japan. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tama Art University in Tokyo and the Master of Fine Arts degree in Inter Media Art from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts in 2010. Recently, Takahashi received prestigious Japanese emerging artist grant from Pola Art Foundation, 2012 Overseas Study by Young Artists Fellowship to support her project to live and photograph in the United States of America. Takahashi's work is show in Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia and the United States of America and her work is in the permanent collection at the Kuma Museum in Japan.
Landscapes are at once events of the earth and the stage on which our human lives evolve to become our histories. As the layers of our lives accumulate, just like the geological beds of the earth, our existence becomes rooted in its layers.
Rural agrarian life (inaka) has long stood in juxtaposition to an urban existence, to a world overflowing with information. But now the idea of inaka as “an ordinary farming community,” struggles to sustain itself. In my work I seek out the voices of people laiving in such communities. While tangible, their voices are not to be found in textbooks or the news media. Still, collectively these modest voices represent the grounded history of these small farming communities.
Life in these rural villages, rooted in the community members’ sense of responsibility for place, provides an abundance that I find prescient. Inherent in village life is gentleness and tranquility, a severity and awe, a pantheistic prayer to god as the whole of creation. On my travels I search for the roots of Japaneseness through an exploration of human agency and disappearing cultural traditions.