Naoko Tanaka studied painting & visual art in Tokyo University of the Arts before moving to Germany in 1999 to take up a scholarship at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Since then she has created video works, installations and stage performances in which she combines movements, the staging of light, room and sound concepts, as well as visual arts.Together with the choreographer Morgan Nardi, Tanaka is the co- founder of the artist collective "Ludica." which was invited to perform at the German Dance Platform in 2010.From 2011 to 2013 she performed numerous audio-visual concerts with the musician oval.
In 2011 Naoko Tanaka created her first solo piece "Die Scheinwerferin", the first part of her Shadow-Trilogy,
in which she took responsibility for the concept, the stage, sound creation and performance. This show is performed successfully around Europe and received in Novi Sad at the INFANT Festival the jury’s prize of the jury for exceptional expression, the Prix Jardin d'Europe 2012 at ImPulsTanz and the ZKB Acknowledgement Prize 2012 at the Zürcher Theaterspektakel.
The second part of her Shadow-trilogy, "Absolute Helligkeit", premiered in July 2012 in SOPHIENSÆLE Berlin. Here, Tanaka developed her method further in the use of light, space and movement. In her performance-installations Naoko Tanaka created with her specific-artistic language the form of Sculptural Poetry.
The final part of her Trilogy "Unverinnerilcht" was developed in Berlin and in Japan during artist residency at the "Ichihara Art x Mix" Festival and premiered in February 2015.
Working deliberately with skillful and subtle interplays of light and darkness rather than existing or digitally manipulated images, Tanakas enthralling installation performance invites the audience to test the bounds of their powers of sight, deduction and imagination.
„We see through the dance, we see only what we think we see.
We are magicians. Naoko Tanaka shows us: we are the magicians of our own imaginations.“
(Arnd Wesemann / TANZ 2015/03)