Daughter of a landowner father, youngest of three children, Takako Saito spent a peaceful childhood in this middle-class environment, despite the war and the violent destruction. After studying psychology at Nihon Joshi Daigaku (Japan Women’s University), she became a teacher. Wishing to promote creative freedom, she became involved in Sōzō Biiku undŏ, a movement for creative art education founded by Teijirŏ Kubo in 1953.
During one of the many workshops organized by this group, Takako Saito met the artist Ay-O. Thanks to this friendship, she was put in touch with the avant-garde movements in Tokyo and then in New York, where Ay-O settled in 1958. Attracted by the stories of her friend, she arrived in New York in 1963. Ay-O introduces her to George Maciunas who introduces her to the Fluxus group, whose free spirit and means of expression she will share, thanks to her experiences.
It is from 1964 that this collective begins the publications in the form of magazines like CC V TRE and the creation of plastic boxes containing cards or various materials. G. Maciunas, fascinated by the Japanese wooden boxes without nails, asked Takako Saito to make them. By its culture, it probably influenced certain aesthetic choices of the group and in particular all the production of the Boxes whose most famous are the variations of the chess boxes: Nut & Bolt Chess (1964); Grinder Chess (1965); Fluxus Chess (1965).
Annalisa Rimmaudo, Excerpt from The Universal Dictionary of Women Creators © 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque