My Teacher Tortoise (Upper Gallery)

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Wilkinson Gallery
My Teacher Tortoise (Upper Gallery)

50/58 Vyner Street
E2 9DQ London
May 6th, 2011 - June 5th, 2011
Opening: May 5th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

+44 020 8980 2662
Wed-Sat 11-6; Sun 12-6


Wilkinson Gallery is please to announce its third solo exhibition with Japanese artist Shimabuku.

Often drawing upon collective experience and the otherwise banal or quotidian, Shimabuku’s work - devoid of conventionalityand pretence – is absorbingly human and richly poetic.

The exhibition’s focal point is the impressive installation My Teacher Tortoise, 2011, from which the exhibition takes its title.The installation, which has also been exhibited this year at The National Museum of Art in Osaka as part of the exhibition: Air Hole: Another Form of Conceptualism from Asia, is typical of Shimabuku’s effortlessly poignant narrative. As the artisthimself defines ‘This exhibition is a chance to think about stopping’. Contemplative and wise are the often fabledcharacteristics of the tortoise, correspondingly, in the context of the exhibition, the tortoise is emblematic of Shimabuku’ssuggestion that we ought to slow down and reconsider our often unconcerned appreciation of the present.

Something that Floats / Something that Sinks, 2010, as the title suggests, makes the very literal physical comparisonbetween fruits that float and fruits that sink. The work is the realisation of something the artist noticed whilst cooking andalways found bizarre and amusing. The viewer is neither asked to explain this physical difference nor to understand it, rather,to simply enjoy the work for all its curiosities. Similarly, Leaves Swim, 2011 - a beautifully ornate portrait of a seahorsefilmed under water – presents the viewer with an exotic unknown, but encourages us to simply appreciate the uncomplicatedbeauty of this spectacular creature.

Through his ongoing practice, Shimabuku playfully challenges our desire to define the unfamiliar, suggesting that art shouldbe an opportunity to accept and appreciate the unknown or incomprehensible, rather than the continual search for its definitionor explanation.

Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Kaki and Tomato’, Air de Paris, Paris (2010), The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art,Tokyo (2009), ‘The Street’, Whitechapel Art Gallery (2008), ‘Sea, Sky, Language and so on’, DAAD galerie, Berlin(2008). Recent significant group exhibitions include ‘Air Hole: Another Form of Conceptualism from Asia’, The NationalMuseum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2011), ‘Eating the universe. Food in Art’, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Germany and ‘Laughing ina Foreign Language’, The Hayward Gallery, London (2008).