Bolzano, Italy's first exhibition of Japanese artist Shimabuku at Museion

Museion in Bolzano is hosting, from May 6 to September 3, 2023, the largest anthological exhibition ever organized in Europe by the Japanese artist Shimabuku, a curious and humorous cross-media artist. It is also his first solo exhibition in Italy.

From May 6 to September 3, 2023 Museion in Bolzano presents the largest anthological exhibition of Japanese artist Shimabuku (Kobe, 1969) ever organized in Europe, and his first solo show in Italy.

Shimabuku’s cross-media art offers a light, curious and humorous approach to experiencing the world. His works arise from private moments of wonder, such as an idea, a desired encounter or a poem. Through her interaction with the world around her, this intimacy becomes public as the artist enacts her thoughts. Essentially, her photographic, filmic and sculptural recollections of these encounters represent public statements in the exhibition space. Shimabuku thus effectively succeeds in showing the affinities between animals, landscapes, stories, ideas and people, while revealing unexpected and fleeting moments of sharing and mirroring.

This exhibition, titled Shimabuku. Me, We, draws inspiration from a phrase by the famous boxer and activist Muhammad Ali, often considered the world’s shortest poem and perfect description of a relationship.

The exhibition features a range of works from the early 1990s to the present, as well as works produced specifically for this museum space. Visitors will encounter a retrospective “stream of episodes,” with no linear chronology and a thematic combination of new and non-new productions. This selection aims to combine different entities, such as objects, animals, fruits, stories and global geographies. Shimabuku’s aesthetic vision tarnishes the boundaries between these subjects, creating a sense of mutual exaltation. In his realm, there is no polarity between inside and outside; instead, the artist seeks to explore the interactions between these two dimensions.

One of the most important elements of the exhibition is Me, We (2023), a large sculptural installation produced in collaboration with the Antonio Dalle Nogare Foundation in Bolzano and the Ex-Montecatini (ex-Solland Silicon)in Merano, created with building materials taken from the Mauracherhof and the Ex-Montecatini (ex-Solland Silicon). In this installation, the artist combines two buildings with very different cultural backgrounds, both of which are currently being demolished or renovated. The Mauracherhof was built in 1278, while the Ex-Montecatini (ex-Solland Silicon) dates back to the 1920s, the period of the Italianization of the region. As in Me, We (2023), the artist gives different stories a common meaning and future existence as works of art.

Another previously unseen work is Bed Peace (2023), a sculpture consisting of a bed with two figures lying next to each other and made with earth from different valleys in South Tyrol.

For the exhibition, the artist exclusively produced, together with Mutina, a special art edition part of the Mutina for Art project, organized by the famous company specializing in exclusive designer ceramics to support contemporary artists. The exhibition is also a direct result of the This is Not a Prize promoted by Mutina and won by Shimabuku in 2019, thanks to the unique characteristics of his artistic language and his multifaceted and generous imagination. Since then, Mutina, as the main sponsor, has built a fruitful relationship with Museion to support Shimabuku and his exhibition.

For all information, you can visit Museion’s official website.

Pictured: Shimabuku, Khaki and Tomato (2008). Courtesy of the artist and Air de Paris, Romainville

Bolzano, Italy's first exhibition of Japanese artist Shimabuku at Museion
Bolzano, Italy's first exhibition of Japanese artist Shimabuku at Museion

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