Masako Takahashi was born in 1944 in the Topaz Relocation Center, an internment camp in Utah set up as part of United States policy towards Japanese-Americans during World War II. She received her arts education from San Francisco Art Institute, California; Bard College, New York; and the University of California at Berkeley, California.
Takahashi has demonstrated skill in a tremendous range of media. Immediately after graduating from Berkeley, she moved to New York to become a part of the cinéma vérité documentary film movement. From there, she worked as a painter for many years before moving to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 1985. In Mexico, Takashima became fascinated with Mexican textiles and began to experiment with weaving and embroidery herself. Today, Takahashi creates embroidered surfaces, dyed with bold colors and covered in delicate typographic designs all sewn with strands of the artists’ own hair. Takahashi’s typographic designs typically use a unique alphabet created by the artist herself as a way to capture the urge to communicate, and the difficulty of being fully understood.
Recent exhibitions of Takahashi’s work include, Antidotal, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley (2018); Takahashi, Galeria Jesus, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico (2007); Masako Takahashi, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, California, USA (2005); LIBERACION/LIBERATION, El Museo de la Ciudad, Queretaro, Mexico (2005); Pelo/Hair, El Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO), Oaxaca, Mexico (2003).