Jio Shimizu


Denmark might not seem the most obvious place to find important Japanese contemporary artists, but it shares with Germany the attraction of generously funded artist-in-residency programs and educational grants that many mobile Japanese have used to their advantage. It is also a highly artist friendly society: nearly everybody you meet in Copenhagen and Aarhus, the smaller secondary city where I (some of the time) live, seems to be young, beautiful, affluent, have two perfect children, and be doing something “creative” with their lives. Still, it is small, and it took me about five minutes to meet everybody who knows anything about Japan in Denmark, which is how come I was asked to write the introductory essay for the Design exhibition of Danish-Japanese art that I wrote about in my blog on 2009-08-07. The evening of that opening I was introduced to artist-in-residence Jio Shimizu and his family who also came along to meet the Ambassador and designers.

We had one specific connection. I had met the artist/curator Takashi Azumaya not long ago after a fun drinking session with the Chim Pom/Yamamoto Gendai crowd in Tokyo. Azumiya is a friend and supporter of Shimizu’s quite extraordinary experimental work in light and sound. After meeting, I made the trek to the Tokorozawa Biennial in September, partly in order to see his work, which was in fact central to that show’s cavernous space. At Tokorozawa, he showed three pieces, including strange black and white negatives he had taken of the moon during daytime in Copenhagen, and a brilliant series of microphone stands where you could listen to street noise cut up in different frequencies. Since then we’d been talking about meeting up again for a while, so I was thrilled when I could finally get over to his spectacular borrowed studio space in Christianshavn, Copenhagen to see some of the work he has been putting together this year.

It is a cosy Danish evening. A dinner was prepared, and there were a number of other invitees from the city, all either artists or writers on the art scene here. After Japanese food and beer we eventually sat to watch to two works: ‘Water Surface Tension’ and ‘World Models’. In the first a low laser light fired across the floor created watery patterns on the far wall according to water that was poured onto the floor and moved in waves. In the second, an on-going experiment that was seen at the first Roppongi Crossing for which Shimizu was selected, Shimizu uses sound generating vibration to affect a mirror that then shot red light patterns around the room via a second, spinning mirror. Amazingly, the frenetic and infinitely varied circling patterns (above pictured) became more not less stable as the spinning became more violent, eventually coalescing into a wavy line that looked like a tsunami rising on the Inner Sea or a heart nearing cardiac arrest.

The one name that Shimizu cites as a positive reference is Tatsuo Miyajima, who is only slightly older. The catalogue to his break through show at Tokyo Opera City was lying to hand. As to my enthusiasm for Ryoji Ikeda, he told me that his work is sometimes too much “theatre”. Shimizu is much more systematic and experimental in the ideas he is working towards; it is a genuine intersection of art and science, where the audience may – like Schrödinger’s cat – not always even be there. The key formative experiences for him lay at Geidai in the late 1980s – a little before the now more famous pop art gang (Murakami and Nakamura) and the Showa 40 nen kai (Aida and Ozawa). He recalls particularly the influence of the late and much missed teacher/artist Koji Enokura, the conceptual photographer. As in Shimizu, one can see the idea at work that a particular technical method registering or playing with time, space or motion can through the art reveal hidden truths, patterns or meanings. Although he trained as a painter, then, it was video and sound work to which Shimizu was attracted. There is still something very painterly about the way Shimizu uses light on walls. He is now looking forward to an early return to Geidai with a show called “Brightness and Emptiness”, opening in the New Year at the Tokyo University of the Arts Museum (Jan 6-20), that will feature him, Takamine Tadasu and four others.

Everyone at the dinner party had brought their young children too. The walls were quickly filled with Pollack, Basquiat, and late Matisse, thanks to an ample supply of crayons and paintbrushes. The girls also had to be asked nicely not to do Michael Jackson dances through the light show (the green light lit up shoes beautifully as you stepped around the white floors...). It was hard to distract them, though, from the Hayao Miyazaki anime once that was put on to entertain them as the adults talked. The other mystery we were left pondering that evening was why everyone there apparently had only daughters and no sons. Something in the Danish water, maybe? Or just human evolution towards higher forms?





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Jio Shimizu
投稿元 : louboutin outlet / 2013年05月17日22:05





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