Born in Tokyo and educated at Tama Art University, Shima is now a Professor at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts, admired for his joyfully free and colourful prints of random shapes. Shima wants to capture the shape of sound - 'just as Mozart expressed joy through music, I use colour and forms in the same way'.
The titles of Shima's prints hold the key to their method of creation. Each letter indicates the process involved: SP=silkscreen print; C=collage and D=drawing. In a print such as this one he began by composing a collage of torn papers, over which he 'drew' with brown ink. He then prepared a series of stencils, one for each colour area, to give the illusion of ragged paper edges, with a final stencil repeating the calligraphic `drawing'.
In making such a print there might be as many as nine successive proofs, and this very process of continual growth and change fascinates Shima. He wants to tease out the questions of image perception: at proof stage is an image complete or only a fragment? Is each image independent or only a part of a whole and subject to change before our very eyes? Is the print complete or only forecasting yet another direction? In creating his prints through these stages, Shima expresses by shapes and forms the process of the birth of languages. Through his work he wants, in his own words, to preserve the human quality in an over-informed society.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 88.
Place where the work was made
Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
62.7 x 93.6 cm image; 80.3 x 120.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pencil "Dec '89 Shima".
Gift of the artist 1993
Not on display
© SHIMA Kuniichi
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The Urban Bonsai:
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992
- National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992
- Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992
- Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993
- The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993
- Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Emu Plains 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994
- Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994
- Moree Plains Gallery, Moree 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994
- Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, Murwillumbah 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 86 (colour illus.), 88. cat. no. 53