Creating sculptures of exquisite peculiarity is an art in which Takei excels. His elegantly crafted works embody the notion of the whimsical, contradictory and idiosyncratic. There is an immediately detectable sense of humor and quick wit about his sculptures. Beyond playfulness, however, his aim is to challenge the viewer to alter the way in which they look at reality.
Taking cues from the Cubists of the early 20th century, Takei transforms the mundane into the fantastic - and sometimes absurd. His work is a constant inquiry into the meaning of functionality and the perception of purpose. Much like Man Ray’s iconic readymade sculpture, The Gift (1921), and Meret Oppenheim’s infamous fur-covered teacup (Object, 1936), he recontextualizes those pragmatic objects that we immediately recognize. With his piece Soft Shoulders (2011), he deconstructs a wooden clothes hanger into small pieces that are linked together like a necklace. Takei has obliterated its essential utility and in the process has created an entirely new object with new meaning and ultimately a new purpose.
In Takei’s hands, seemingly utilitarian objects are rendered useless, but are arguably made more beautiful - transformed from the quotidian to the extraordinary. By altering the forms of these familiar objects, he imbues them with new meaning. Using clever, tongue-in-cheek titles, Takei in many instances personifies them, projecting our own attributes onto those ordinary, inanimate things that we utilize every day.
Press Release 2016 - William Turner Gallery