Koki Tanaka questions the coordinates and the mechanisms that contribute to the formation of a family through his video work Abstracted / Family, where the notion of “family” is not one based on blood relation, but refers to a “quasi-family,” wherein a group of people who happen to share the same time and space are united. Tanaka brings together four protagonists whose families descend from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, and the Korean peninsula, but are themselves native Japanese speakers and have been brought up in a Japanese cultural environment. Their co-existence in a typical Japanese suburban house requires them to be involved in diverse everyday life actions or work together as a group in creating a series of abstract paintings. On another side, the artist questions the stereotype that the Japanese as a whole are a homogenous entity, a racist idea shared both by the local population, as well as in the international public view of the country and its people.
by Koki Tanaka
with Claudia Shimoji, Ai Nakagawa, Kiyoshi Hashimoto, Naoto Yasuda, Lawrence Yoshitaka Shimoji
Japan 2020 Japanese 110’ Colour Documentary form


  • Claudia Shimoji
  • Ai Nakagawa
  • Kiyoshi Hashimoto
  • Naoto Yasuda
  • Lawrence Yoshitaka Shimoji (Interviewer)


Director Koki Tanaka
Cinematography Shinya Aoyama
Editing Koki Tanaka
Sound Ryota Fujiguchi
Assistant Director Shun Sato
Production Manager Shun Sato
Producer Koki Tanaka

World sales

Vitamin Creative Space

Produced by

Koki Tanaka

Koki Tanaka

Koki Tanaka, born in 1975 in Tochigi, Japan, is a Kyoto-based artist. In his diverse art practice spanning video, photography, site-specific installations, and interventional projects, he visualized and reveals the multiple contexts latent in the simplest of everyday acts. In his early object-oriented works, Tanaka experiments with ordinary objects to explore ways to offer a possible escape from our everyday routine. Later in his works, Tanaka asked the participants to collectively navigate tasks that in and of themselves are out of the ordinary, he then documented behaviors that were unconsciously exhibited by people confronting unusual situations, such as one piece of pottery made by five potters and a piano played by five pianists simultaneously, seeking to reveal group dynamics in a micro-society and temporal community. Following the tsunami disaster on 1 March 2011 in Japan, Tanaka has employed a variety of methods to produce works on the relationality that arises between human beings, what he calls “collective acts”: experiments of various sorts that still lack a fixed destination. Tanaka’s work has been shown widely in major museums and biennials. Abstracted / Family is his second feature.


2019 Vulnerable Histories (A Road Movie); 103 min. 2020 Abstracted / Family; 101 min.

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020