Born and raised in Tokyo, Ari Tabei received her BA from Sophia University, attended the Post-baccalaureate Program in Studio Art at Brandies University, and received her MFA from the University of Connecticut in sculpture and video performance art. She has participated in the Vermont Studio Center and LMCC’s Swing Space in 2008 and was awarded the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship 2008-2009. She has recently completed Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program for 2009-2010.
“I make garments and bags to create nests that are like my own home, my own world. These function as cocoons for me, to heal and nourish myself so that I regain strength to survive when I emerge from them. Interacting with the garments and bags, I invent ritualistic play that revives my childhood experiences and interprets the influences of my culture. In my current series, I use different materials and processes to explore specific meanings. With these materials, I package my body to disconnect myself from reality, but also to tie myself to it.” —a.t.