(Japan) b.1969

Lives in Berlin, works everywhere

Shimabuku holds an intense fascination with the natural world and the countless manifestations of human culture within it, encouraging us to break with established habits of perception and enjoy experiences as if they are happening to us for the first time. Many of Shimabuku’s works start with a playful observation or a seemingly simple idea.

In My Teacher Tortoise Shimabuku ponders the idea of “stopping” and even “returning”. He thinks that we don’t have to find new things all the time. Sometimes, it is good to stop or even return to some point. But in our world today, it is not so easy to stop and return. To stop and return, you have to be brave and wise. The tortoise teaches us something about that.

Mobile Phone and Stone Tool: A mobile phone is one of the newest devices of humankind, and a stone tool is the oldest. Actually, they are similar in some aspects. Firstly, the size is similar. When held in a person’s hand, some of them feel very much alike. Stone tools also have “memory” just like mobile phones. You could imagine “calling” or “taking a photo” with a stone tool.  

Shimabuku’s solo exhibitions include: Sea and Flowers, Wien Lukatsch, Berlin (2014); Flying Me, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2014); City in the Sea, Air de Paris, Paris (2014); Something that Floats / Something that Sinks, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2013); Noto, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2013); Leaves Swim, Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona (2012); My Teacher Tortoise, Wilkinson Gallery, London, UK (2011); On the Water, CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2011); and Sea, Sky, Language and So On, DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2008). 

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