Born in Kobe. Spends youth in Dalian and Harbin in Manchuria.
Studied at Joshibi Women’s School of Art and Design; studies interrupted by war.
Works in the Chikuho mining region of Kyushu, producing drawings and lithographs expressing the artist’s social commitment. Exhibit at Shiseidō Gallery in Ginza September 26-October 1, 1955.
Travels to Latin America via Africa, and later to the Middle East and Central Asia.
Produces lithographs based on the poetry of South Korean political prisoner, Kim Ji-ha. Chained Hands in Prayer, Korea is finished in 1975.
Completes On the Poems of Kim Ji-ha and Pablo Neruda, a series of lithographs exhibited in New York, Chicago, and Berkeley. Also completes Deep Night: Poems by Kim Ji-ha: Prints by Tomiyama Taeko and Heaven and Earth in Central Asia.
Following the censorship of a television film on Kim Ji-ha, Tomiyama sets up Hidane Kōbō, a workshop/studio for the production of multi-media slide works. Tomiyama’s collaborations with musician and composer Takahashi Yūji have continued to the present. The film, composed of photographs of Tomiyama’s lithographs, is also called Chained Hands in Prayer, Korea.
Kwangju, May 1980: A Prayer in Memory, shown in Sapporo and the Kansai region of Japan.
Exhibitions held in Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg and Munich.
Completes Coerced and Forlorn, a series of lithographs and collages based on poems by Yun Dong-ju, who wrote about conscripted Korean laborers, and who died at 28 in a prison in Fukuoka, Japan. Hajike Hosenka (Pop Out Balsam Seeds!), a film produced by Tsuchimoto Noriaki (Gentōsha) is based on this work.
Completes a series of paintings treating the theme of the “military comfort women,” Memories of the Sea. These works are dramatized as Umi nari, hana yose (The roaring of the sea, the gathering of flowers), directed by Satō Shin, performed by Black Tent.
Completes multi-media slide work, A Memory of the Sea, which is exhibited in London and Berlin.
A Thai Girl Who Never Returned Home exhibited in Bangkok and Tokyo. The paintings that were the basis of this slide show comprise Let’s Go to Japan!
Tomiyama Taeko: 50 Years after the War, exhibit at Tama Art Museum, Tokyo and Tonga Gallery, Seoul.
Completes multi-media slide work Harbin: Requiem for the 20th Century. Invited to exhibit in the Art as Witness project at the first Gwangju Biennale.
From Asia: Tomiyama Taeko and Hong Song-dam, exhibition held in Gwangju at the May 18 Cemetery, Special Gallery, Puchon City Hall in South Korea and in Kawasaki City, Japan.
Exhibition of work at Liberty Osaka. Completes multi-media slide work, The Fox Story: Illusion of Cherry Blossoms and Chrysanthemums
Invited to exhibit work in the 3rd Gwangju Biennale. Collaborative project Fox and Coal Mines exhibited in Tokyo.
Let’s Go to Japan! exhibited at Seikei University, Tokyo.
The Shaman and the Fox exhibited at Kyoto Seika University.
Remembrance and Reconciliation, collages and prints, exhibited in Ruhr, Germany, Philadelphia, and Evanston, IL.
Embracing Asia- Tomiyama Taeko’s Complete Works, 1950-2009 exhibit held at Etchigo Tsumari Art Triennale in Niigata. During the exhibition, Tomiyama’s new series on Hiruko and the Puppeteers: A Tale of Sea Wanderers was screened with music by Yuji Takahashi, Ayuo and Reki Shibata.
Begins new series on Afghanistan.
Tomiyama Taeko: A Response to 9.11 and 3.11 exhibit held at the Tokyo Art Museum.
Invited to exhibit work at Banned Images exhibit nGbK, Berlin.