Artist Profiles > S > Shimabuku

With a curious proclivity towards formulating and materialising the surreal and absurd as embedded layers in the everyday, the artist Shimabuku (b. 1969, Kobe, Japan) has developed a language that enables one to engage with encounters of and perceptions towards the contemporary world. His empathetic stance towards the arbitrary conditions in social and natural settings gives rise to a keen sensitivity in his site-specific artistic responses. His work brings to bear the ways in which we confront quotidian and natural orders that exist in the world around us, and the possibilities for disjuncture, interruption and unpredictability.

The frequent documentative and time-based quality in Shimabuku’s works provide possible interstices for performativity and objecthood to collide, giving rise to poetic and allegorical situations and gestures. His practice reveals resonances that extend beyond the intellectual to engage with the emotional and affective registers, problematising a flat, singular reading of the hard realities and forces of globalisation and capitalism. Shimabuku’s work suspends us from common assumptions of a functional social order, and introduces us to a rhythm of the everyday that revaluates oddity, coincidence, improvisation, placemaking and storytelling.

Shimabuku’s solo exhibitions include: For Octopuses, Monkeys and People, Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry, le Crédac, France (2018); Bow to Bow, Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London (2018); Bow to Bow, Barbara Wien, Berlin (2017); Cuban Samba, Nogeuras Blanchard, Madrid (2016); The Snow Monkeys of Texas, Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles (2016); Exchange a mobile phone for a stone tool, Wilkinson Gallery, London (2015); When Sky was Sea, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2014); Something that Floats / Something that Sinks, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2013); Noto, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2013); Leaves Swim, Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona (2012); Shimabuku, Overbeck Gesellschaft Kunstverein Lübeck, Lübeck (2011); Kaki and Tomato, Air de Paris, Paris (2010). His work has been shown in seminal group exhibitions including: Large Against the Sky, Manif d’art – The Quebec City Biennial, Quebec (2019); Take Off, Maison Rouge, Paris (2018); Looking at Animals, Turner Contemporary, Kent (2018); In Tune with the World, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2018); Kodomo No Kuni, L’Onde, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France (2018); AQUARIA, DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2018).


Images, from top to bottom:
Ice Cream with Salt / Ice Cream with Pepper2010
Serigraph: Acrylic on Paper (100 x 70 cm each) / Performance
Performance view from “Negotiations: The 2nd Today’s Document 2010,” Today Art Museum, Beijing, China 2010
Sharpening a MacBook Air, 2015
HD video (02min. 05sec. / color / sound) + Object in the the vitrine (80 x 85 x 65cm)
The Snow Monkeys of Texas – Do snow monkeys remember snow mountains?, 2016
HD video (20min. / color / sound) + vinyl wall text