At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

Our foyer is open today 10am–5pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

Tomoko Yamada

Tomoko Yamada

Common language of thread: “Flow Movement…” is a performative and experimental exploration into the conceptual value of Tomoko Yamada’s practice.

Yamada’s process focuses on linear mapping and diagramming with fluorescent-coloured threads to create installations emphasising the constantly transforming connections between art, the environment and daily life, influenced by both the past and future, with all its sights, sounds, smells, colours, shapes, textures, patterns, landscapes, air and people.

Yamada learnt the almost lost, traditional practice of fishermen’s netmaking from an elderly Japanese man who worked as a deep-sea pearl diver as a young man. This led her practice in a new direction as a dynamic activity through which she can communicate the past, present and future using the common language of thread. Thread is the key, symbolising the repetitive mapping process of life, weaving and connecting points of existence into a complex web.

From the messages she receives during her daily practice, Yamada weaves a dialogue of her inner life. Yamada’s art is a never-ending conceptual practice – for her, art is a sequence of movements, allowing Yamada to share her thoughts, feelings, memories and knowledge. She creates installations so viewers may, in their own way, become part of the structure in their contemplation of the ‘common language’ and ‘the flow movement…’.

Tomoko will have her studio door open to the public Sep 20– Oct 1, 11am–4pm.

About the Artists

Tomoko Yamada is an artist and designer based in Broome, Western Australia. She worked in photographic studio and graphic design in Japan. At the same time, she was creating her own conceptual artworks. In 2008 she moved to Australia and her focus shifted to installation art, predominantly in fibre work. She communicates via “language of thread” to form a conceptual development into tangible sculptural and installation creations with performance facets. She draws inspiration from diverse areas including culture, history, language, journeys, streetscenes and noise; along with experimental art and music. Often her organic creations remain ‘works in progress’ as she continues to play with the possibilities of her abstract musings; perhaps varying installation formats at a later showing. She is also inclined to unite two or more of her works to enhance the conceptual value of her installations. Tomoko Yamada’s current works; Bricolage (Live projection art performance, in collaborate with Vanessa Margetts, Corrugated Lines Festival, 2021, WA), Flow Movement (Installation & Performance, Chinatown Discovery Festival & Broome Fringe Festival, 2021, WA), Japanese in Broome (Public Art Design, Chinatown Revitalization Project Stage-2, 2020-2021, WA), Circular Sequence (Wangaratta Miniature Textile Art Finalist Exhibition, 2020, VIC)


This project has been assisted by the Western Australian Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Common language of thread: Flow Movement~10days thread dialogue to create installation, 2021, Thread, installation artwork in W10 x L10 x H4.6m space. Photo credit: Carolina Furque