thu25feb7:00 pmSudden Impact Series: Michael Zerang

fri12mar(mar 12)10:00 amsun11jul(jul 11)5:00 pmKioto Aoki at IMSSBreathe, Fibres of Papers Past

Event Details

Artist-in-Residence Capstone Exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science

*Extended Show: March 12 – July 11, 2021

Breathe, Fibres of Papers Past is a solo exhibition by Fall 2020 Artist-in-Residence Kioto Aoki constructed in conversation with the collections of the International Museum of Surgical Science. The exhibition intertwines the histories of medical imaging, anatomy, physiology, the Museum’s origin and physical architecture through the technological studies and processes of analogue photography. Adjacent explorations of the physicality of the body and the photographic image proposes Aoki’s work as a sinew that negotiates the poetic ambiguities of embodied time – whilst considering the notion of fibre in biological, material, conceptual and historical contexts.

This IMSS program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

More information at IMSS website.


March 12 (Friday) 10:00 am - July 11 (Sunday) 5:00 pm CST


International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N Lake Shore Dr., Chicago IL 60610

fri04jun7:00 pmKioto Aoki - Systems of Vision June 2021Experimental Sound Studio - The Quarantine Concerts

Event Details

Friday, June 4, 2021 | 7:00PM CT

Streaming Live from

Kioto Aoki: Systems of Vision

Systems of Vision is a returning series curated by Kioto Aoki featuring artists approaching sound as image-makers. The featured artists work within a performative framework that considers sound as a responsive system of the photographic & cinematic image. Malleable cycles of image as sound and sound as image create redefine what it means to see sound and hear an image. Program 1 features Jiayi Chen, Liwei Hu and Kexin Yao.

This event is a part of the Experimental Sound Studio’s The Quarantine Concerts series.

Jiayi Chen (born in Chongqing, China) is an artist currently based in Chicago. She works in hand-processed film, video installation, and photography. Her artworks derive from the experience of mentally and physically adapting to foreignness, the shifting idea of home and intimacy, and living relentlessly in translation. Her works have been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Mana Contemporary, Anthology Film Archives, ACUD MACHT NEU, and TANK Shanghai.

Hu Liwei 
works with moving image. She holds a MFA in FVNMA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her stage name is Young Coconut, but she is not a rapper. As a practicing “coconut” from Chongqing, China, Liwei does not eat chili pepper.

Kexin Yao is a filmmaker, cinematographer, currently a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Finding happiness from the minutiae of daily life, providing a moment of peace and romance is the original intention of Kexin’s creation of works. By recreating the original video material exploring more possibilities between light and shadow, blurring the boundary between reality and fiction. Each story continuing in real world and dreams.


(Friday) 7:00 pm CDT

thu17jun6:00 pmLook & Listen: The Shamisen in Japanese Art and MusicSmithsonian National Museum of Asian Art Virtual PresentationEvent Type :Tatsu Aoki,Toyoakimoto

Event Details

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Virtual Presentation

Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 6:00 PM CT (7:00 PM ET)

Register Here

Curator Kit Brooks with Tatsu Aoki (Toyoaki Sanjuro), Kioto Aoki, Miyumi Aoki, and special guests Chizuru Kineya and Nobuto Yamanaka 

Follow one of Japan’s oldest musical instruments through its roles in kabuki and puppet theater, in the folk music of itinerant musicians, and in the geisha houses of Tokyo’s Yoshiwara district. Understand how Japanese aesthetics moved from informal to more standardized styles by viewing paintings, photographs, and woodblock prints, and by hearing three masters of the shamisen. Our guides will be curator Kit Brooks, who specializes in the Edo and Meiji periods, and musician and filmmaker Tatsu Aoki, who learned his family’s shamisen repertoire before moving to the United States to pursue a career in jazz, film, and experimental music. Tatsu Aoki will be accompanied by Kioto and Miyumi Aoki on drums and flute. Nobuto Yamanaka, a specialist in the tsugaru shamisen style of Japan’s itinerant musicians, and Chizuru Kineya, a master of the nagauta shamisen music that accompanies kabuki theater, will join from Tokyo.

More information on Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art website.


(Thursday) 6:00 pm CDT

thu24jun7:00 pmSudden Impact SeriesMako Sica

Event Details

AIRMW presents the Sudden Impact Series

Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 7:00 PM


Live from Hairpin Arts Center

Tatsu Aoki brings together a new series to facilitate catalyst events, providing a substratum for Chicago’s musical artists to explore and musically experiment. June 2021 guest artist will feature Mako Sica.

“A lot of people flipped out over how amazing Mako Sica’s last album, Ronda (FTR 409), was. Ronda was a 2LP set whereupon the Chicago trio collaborated with legendary local percussionist Hamid Drake. This pairing seemed like a natural to us, but for some reason people have been woefully unaware of Mako Sica despite the fact they’ve been releasing killer records for a decade, and playing live shows that submerge your brain in a sonic soup that recalls the Sun City Girls at their most psychedelically Eastern.
The band’s approach to music feels almost alchemical. Trumpet, voice, guitar, drums and keys blend together in mysterious ways. The vocals are always more abstract than declarative, the guitar lines are sinewy, the rhythms roll and splash like a mirage oasis made real, and the trumpet arrives (when it does) sounding almost more like a shofar being played in a temple.” -Byron Coley



(Thursday) 7:00 pm CDT

sat26jun8:00 pm9:30 pmThe Trio WAZLive from Constellation

Event Details


Constellation, 3111 North Western AvenueChicago, IL, 60618

For over twenty years, Trio WAZ has performed together, making it one of the longest standing experimental music trios in Chicago.  Edward Wilkerson Jr. is one of the great saxophone and clarinet players on the Chicago scene, Tatsu Aoki is a prolific artist, composer, musician, educator, and consummate bassist and Shamisen Lute player, and Michael Zerang is a percussionist focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.  Each brings their own unique armada of musical conquests and distinctive dispositions to interplay and braid an incomparable synthesis of musical actuality.


This show will be open for a distanced, in-person audience. Please buy a ticket ahead of time to come in person. You can buy a DUO ticket, which admits 2 people to sit together at a table on the floor, or you can buy a SOLO ticket, which admits 1 person to sit distanced from others on the elevated seats. Tickets sold here.

The show will also be livestreamed. If you choose to watch the livestream, please support the artists by purchasing a donation-based ticket below. You can watch the livestream here.


(Saturday) 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm CDT



3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, USA

Past Events Archive