(Japan 1935 – )
62.7 x 93.6 cm image; 80.3 x 120.0 cm sheet
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.
Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints : The Urban Bonsai, Sydney, 1992, 86 (colour illus.), 88. cat. no. 53
The Urban Bonsai: