10/25/20 Faculty Exhibition Spotlight: Takako Tajima


Our virtual faculty exhibition series concludes this fall with a new exhibition on fairy gardens from lecturer Takako Tajima. The intent of the exhibition program is not only to highlight the professional work or academic research of our faculty but also to offer insights into connections between their pedagogy and practice. Below, Takako shares additional details about her exhibition.

What inspired this exhibition?

Under lockdown [due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic], I discovered gardening. As I was becoming obsessed with gardening over the last few months, my kids and I came upon a fairy garden in one of my neighbors’ front yards. Fairy gardens are generally comprised of live plant material and fairy garden accessories (i.e. fairy figurines, tiny houses, little gates and fences, and petite furniture) to create an environment at a miniature scale for its imagined fairy residents. They are meant to be fun and enchanting and make a lot of people happy. I helped my daughter make a little fairy garden at our home, and then decided I needed to make one, too. I was motivated to design fairy gardens because they have a unique capacity to be conceived at multiple scales simultaneously. Like fairies, the fairy scale is strange and magical. The garden is created at a 1:1 fairy scale. However, they are also to be enjoyed purely for their 1:1 planting design and can serve as a scaled model for imagining new landscapes and architecture for human beings. According to my research, fairies range in height from 2 ½” to 3”, so fairy gardens can be perceived at approximately ½” = 1’-0”.


More generally, what inspires your work?

Nature and history. 

What do you hope viewers take away from this exhibition?

Love and respect for fairy gardens.

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