San Francisco

New Window Installation "Taking Flight" Goes Up At Madrone Art Bar

The art installations in Madrone Art Bar's window never fail to catch the eye, whether they're bars filled with hand-knit chickens, sculptures made of found objects or a deli advertising love. The latest artist to be granted the space is Reina Takahashi, whose paper installation Taking Flight was installed last week. Madrone is holding an art opening for Takahashi tonight. 

Takahashi's primary artistic medium is paper, and aside from some fishing wire and sinkers, it's the only material used in Taking Flight. "I'm attracted to paper for a lot of reasons," she tells us. "Foremost, for its versatility. Depending on what you're trying to achieve with a piece, you can be working with it as a flat, two-dimensional medium, or bring it alive by folding it and manipulating it into three dimensions. I'm constantly discovering new ways of working with paper and learning how it behaves."

The window installation being installed. (Photo: Heidi Woo)

The subject of the piece, a "fleet" of paper airplanes, reflects Takahashi's exploration of both movement and time. "I've always been intrigued by the idea of representing flight in an installation context. How do I suspend disbelief and make something feel like it's floating, and give it life and movement? I wanted to explore the idea of transitions through really simple means—color, position, direction—and also experiment with the individual planes acting as a collective whole." 

According to Takahashi's blog, the piece took eight hours to install, and required over 50 pieces of fishing line to hang. 

Takahashi is no stranger to large-scale paper window installations. Last year she created an elaborate 3D pirate map of San Francisco for 826 Valencia, complete with a skull cave, a dragon and a sunken ship. That piece, which was her first large-scale window installation, brought both challenges and a fresh perspective to her work.

"With windows, I'm forced to think much, much bigger, considering the entire space as a scene. I love the challenge of telling a story within a space, and of adding details that would be noticed by passersby on a second or third walk-by," Takahashi says. "A window installation is something you can happen upon by simply walking down your normal route, and has the opportunity to add a bit of surprise and delight to your walk. It's an easy way to access a bit of art in your everyday."

Taking Flight will be up through September 2015. Swing by tonight (Thursday, July 23rd) from 6-9pm to celebrate the opening, and meet the artist. 


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