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Yumika Tanaka

Black Kimono with Obi

Installation, fabric, thread, paper, and micro-controlled LEDs,

2012, 75" x 169" x 5" (Width Varies)

Software/Developer/Company: Arduino

Contributor: Marek Kapolka (Programmer)



I created We Are What We Wear Series through the integration of materials and techniques from both old and new. I thus transformed the typical form of the kimonos through the sensory data of a new technological environment, creating contemporary, electronically embodied kimonos.

LEDs are programmed with Arduino to show 3 different traffic conditions which is about 10 minutes total.


Yumika Tanaka is a digital media, installation artist based in Silicon Valley. She was born and raised in Japan until the age of nineteen, and she has lived in the United States ever since. Recently she was awarded an MFA in Digital Media from CADRE Laboratory for New Media at San Jose State University. Her works have been shown in the Bay Area, including Triton Museum of Art and San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, as well as ZERO1 Biennales.


Selected Exhibitions


ZERO1 Biennial, San Jose, CA, "Lite Wall, The Great Temporary Wall of Silicon Valley” (CADRE Laboratory for New Media).
San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textile, San Jose, CA, 2nd International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) (Juried Group Exhibition).
Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, Liftoff (San Jose State University MFA Graduate Show).
Maker Faire, San Mateo, Ca, "LED Wall and Quakebot" (CADRE Laboratory for New Media).
Gallery 2, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, (MFA Thesis Solo Show).


Gallery 2, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, (Advancement to Candidacy Solo Show).
Black Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, System and Structure (Art 172 Class Exhibition).
Website, California Theatre San Jose, San Jose, CA, (CADRE Laboratory for New Media).


ZERO1 Biennial, San Jose, CA, “Trading Voices” (CADRE Laboratory for New Media).
South FIRST FRIDAYS, San Jose, Ca. “Blissfinity Pharmatopia” (CADRE Laboratory for New Media).


Anno Domini Gallery, San Jose, CA, “MIX” (Peer to Peer Artist Interviews by CADRE).


Palo Alto Centennial, Palo Alto, CA, “Conduits” (Performance by Joel Slayton & DoWhatDo Performance Company).


Works Gallery, San Jose, CA, “DoWhatDo Pre-Opening” (Group Exhibition).
International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), San Jose, CA, “DoWhatDo” (Performance by Joel Slayton & DoWhatDo Performance Company).

Professional Experience


San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, Teaching Assistant, Steve Durie, Art 74 Beginning Digital Media (Spring Semester).


ZERO1/SJSU, San Jose, CA, Intern, Organograph (Artist in resident at Montalvo Arts Center) for the “Climate Clock” Initiative for the City of San Jose, (This project wins the “Climate Clock International Public Art Competition” in 2012) (& 2012).
ZERO1, Tech Museum, San Jose, CA, Videographer, “Art/Technology: In Conversation The Future of Play”.


ZERO1 Biennial, San Jose, CA, Lead Videographer, "Trading Voices".


SuperLight Exhibition/ZERO1, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, Installation Technician, "Tantalum Memorial" (A collaboration between CADRE and Graham Harwood, Richard Wright, Matsuko Yokokoji), (This project wins first prize at Transmediale Award 09, Berlin).


SWITCH (Online Journal of New Media of CADRE Laboratory), San Jose, CA, Writer/Contributor (& 2008).


Adobe Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA, Photographer (Contributor), Graphic Designer/Illustrator, Production Artist, Localization Project Manager, Program Manager (1992-2010).

Articles & Writing

“Yumika Tanaka,”catalog essay, Liftoff 2012, San Jose State University (San Jose, CA), 2012.
“We Are What We Wear,” catalog essay, (San Jose, CA), 2011.
“Interview with Richard Wright and Graham Harwood of Mongrel”, SWTICH (San Jose, CA), Vol. 24, 2008,
“Interview with Ed Osborn”, SWTICH (San Jose, CA), Vol. 4, 1998,

Selected Bibliography

TECHstyle Art and Innovation in San Jose, Wornthrough, August, 2012,
MA meet Pa: exhibition explores the intersection between craft, art, and technology, GRAPHIC SPEAK, August, 2012,
Triton Displays Graduate Work, The Santa Clara Weekly, Issue 24, June 2012,
Trading Voices @01SJ, Stark Insider, September 2010,
01SJ Exhibit Wins Big, San Jose Inside, February 2009,


M.F.A. Digital Media, CADRE (Computer in Art, Design, Research and Education) Laboratory for New Media,
San Jose State University, Ca. (2012)
B.A. CADRE with Electro-Acoustic Music, San Jose State University, Dean's Honor


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