Born in Kobe, Japan 1969 Lives in Naha, Japan

After living in Berlin, Germany for 12 years, Shimabuku moved to Naha, Okinawa, Japan in 2016 where he is currently based.
From the beginning of the 1990s, he has travelled to various places in Japan and overseas, creating performances and installations that consider the daily lives and cultures of people he encounters, as well as new forms of communication. He also works in a diverse range of media including sculpture, film and photography. Full of poetic sentiment and humor while also inspiring people in metaphorical ways, his style has gained a worldwide reputation.

1990Graduated from Osaka College of Art, Osaka
1992Graduated from San Francisco Art Institute (B.A.)
1997ARCUS Project, Artist-in-residence program (4 months), Japan, with a grant from the Japan Foundation
1998Ateliers d’Artistes de la Ville de Marseille (2 months), with a grant from the French Government
1999Capacete Project, Rio de Janeiro, with a grant from the Pola Art Foundation
2002Banff Center, Canada, with a grant from Shiseido
2004Invited to Berlin by DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm
2005-2006Guest Professor at Braunschweig School of Art, Germany
2010Guest Lecture at Ecole des beaux-arts Bordeaux, France
2014-2015Guest Lecture at ZHdk: Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland
2021 –Guest Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2023“Me, We”, MUSEION: Museum of modern and contemporary art, Bolzano, Italy
“Moon, Potato, Swan and Sounds”, Galleria Zero…, Milano, Italy

2022“Instrumental”, Wiels, Brussels, Belgium
“Swan Goes to the Sea / Let’s Make Cows Fly!”, Air de Paris, Romainville (Grand Paris), France

2021“165meter Mermaid and other stories”, NMNM Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (cat.)
“Somethings Happen Twice: An Elephant Comes from the Sea”, Nagasaki Prefecrtural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan

2018“Eyes On” Shimabuku, Denver Art Museum, USA
“For Octopuses, Monkeys and People” Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, France
“Bow to Bow” Amanda Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.

2017“Bow to Bow” Barbara Wien, Berlin, Germany
2016“Cuban Samba” Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid, Spain
“The Snow Monkeys of Texas” Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

2015“Exchange a mobile phone for a stone tool” Wilkinson Gallery, London, U.K.
2014“When Sky was Sea” Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
“Sea and Flowers” Barbara Wien, Berlin, Germany
“Flying Me” Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland
“City in the Sea”Air de Paris, Paris, France

2013“Something that Floats / Something that Sinks,” Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.
“Noto,” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan

2012“Leaves Swim,” Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona
2011“Shimabuku,” Overbeck Gesellschaft Kunstverein Lübeck, Lübeck
“Man should try to avoid contact with alien life forms,” Le Centre international d’art et du paysage de l’ile de Vassiviére, Vassiviére (cat.)
“On the water,” CAPC musee d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
“My Teacher Tortoise,” Wilkinson Gallery, London

2010“Kaki and Tomato,” Air de Paris, Paris
2008“New Works,” Watari-Um, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
“Sea, Sky, Language and so on,” DAAD galerie, Berlin
“Shimabuku’s Fish & Chips,” Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona

2007“Shimabuku’s Fish & Chips,” Wilkinson Gallery, London
“The Story So Far 2,” Shugoarts, Tokyo
“Shimabuku’s Fish & Chips,” DAAD galerie, Berlin

2005“From high in the sky to the bottom of the sea,” Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona
“Catching octopus with self-made ceramic pots,” Air de Paris, Paris

2004“Born as a Box,” Wilkinson Gallery, London
“Yoyo on the Moon (Film and Video Screening with Kidlat Tahimic),” Maejima Art Center / Yume-R, Okinawa

2003“Swansea Jack Memorial Dog Swimming Competition,” Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, U.K. (artist book)
“Watching the River Flow,” Shugoarts, Tokyo

2002“Frog’s Sky,” Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Schwaz, Austria
“Then, I decided to give a tour of Tokyo to the octopus from Akashi.” Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.

2001“Passing through the rubber band,” Air de Paris, Paris
“The Octopus Returns,” Kobe Art Village Center / Suma Rikyu Park, Kobe, Japan (artist book)

1999“I’m traveling with 165-metre mermaid,” DAZIBAO, Montreal (artist book)
“Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere,” Air de Paris, Paris

1993“KONNICHIWA,” Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan (leaflet)

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023“Dans l’air”, Hanger Y, Meudon, France
2022“DO WE DREAM UNDER THE SAME SKY”, Okayama Art Summit 2022, Okayama, Japan
“Aller contre le vent : performances, actions et autres rituels” Frac Franche-Comté, Besançon, FRANCE
“Playmode” CCBB – Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil
“Les Eaux Composées”, École européenne supérieure d’art de Bretagne, France

2021“And the flowers too” Museo Orto Botanico, Roma, Italy
“La mer imaginaire”, Villa Carmignac, Île de Porquerolles
“St. Elmo’s Fire, Rodeo”, Piraeus, Grèce
“July, August, September”, Cologne, Allemagne

2020“gerlach en koop Was machen Sie um zwei? Ich schlafe,” GAK Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen
“La vie des tables,” Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Crédac, France
“Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art,” Museum Tinguely Basel.
“I Love Art 15 – Living Tokyo”, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

2019“Etrange!” (Variations en vrac), Château Chasse Spleen, Moulis-en-Médoc
“More”, Air de Paris, Romainville
“The Sorcerer’s Burden” Contemporary Art and the Anthropological Turn, The Contemporary Austin
“Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art”, Museum Tinguely, Basel
“Creatures: When Species Meet” CAC – Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati
“Narcisse, ou la floraison des mondes”, FRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine MÉCA, Bordeaux
“Texture of Life” Reborn Art Festival, Ishinomaki, Japan
“Sur les ailes du désir”, Musée du Château des ducs de Wurtemberg, Montbéliard
“Kodomo No Kuni – Replay “ FRAC Grand Large – Hauts de France
“Small Between the Stars, Large against the Sky” Manif d’art 9 – The Quebec City Biennial, Quebec, Canada

2018“Take Off” Maison Rouge, Paris
“Lulennial II : A Low-Hanging Fruit”, Lulu, Mexico City
“Looking at Animals” Turner Contemporary, Kent, U.K.
“In Tune with the World” Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris
“Kodomo No Kuni” L’Onde, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
“AQUARIA” DAAD Galerie, Berlin

2017“The Castle of Crossed Destinies” 11 Columbia, Monaco
“Reborn Art Festival in Tokyo” The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
“The Show Must Go On” Kunst Museum Bern, Switzerland (cat.)
“Floating Worlds” 14th La Biennale de Lyon, Lyon (cat.)
“Reborn Art Festival” Ishinomaki, Japan
“VIVA ARTE VIVA” 57th international Art Exhibition, La Biennale de Venezia, Venice (cat.)
“Offshore: artist explore the sea” Ferns Art Gallery & Hull Maritime Museum, U.K.
“While I was also Listening To …” La Crime center of contemporary art, Rennes, France
“Futures” CAC: Contemporary Art Center, Lithuania
“Horizon: Against Nature” OED Gallery, Kochi, India
“AQUA: ART for the World” Ile Rousseau & château de Penthes, Geneva, Switzerland
“The Animal Mirror” ISCP, New York

2016“Development” Okayama Art Summit 2016, Okayama, Japan
“FOOD – Ecologies of the Everyday” 13th Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture Fellbach, Fellbach, Germany
“Ecce Homo” The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
“Echo of untouched matter” Lothringer 13, Munich, Germany

2015“Äppärät“, The Ballroom Marfa, Texas, U.S.A.
“Take Me To The River” Dojima River Biennale, Osaka, Japan
“Contemporary Still-Lives”, Antinori Art Project, Firenze, Italy
“Mountain with a broken edge”, Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba
“#catcontent” Kunstpalais, Erlangen, Germany
“A Climate Fictionalism” Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
“The Way Things Go” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, U.S.A.

2014“Imagineering” Okayama Art Project, Okayama, Japan
“The Great Acceleration” Taipei Biennial 2014, Taipei, Taiwan
“City and Nature” Sapporo International Art Festival 2014, Sapporo, Japan
“A History” Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
“Manners of Matter” Saltzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
“Will Happiness Find Me?” Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo
“Underwater Worlds ” Museum Kunst der Westküste, Föhr, Germany

2013“Aquatopia,” Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, U.K.
“Aquatopia,” Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, U.K.
“Le Pont,” Musee d’art contemporain, Marseille, France
“Re:emerge,” Sharjah Biennial 11, Sharjah, UAE
“how to write 1” Wien Lukatsch, Berlin, Germany

2012“FOOD,” Musée Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
“Mount Fuji does not exist,” Plateau / Frac Ile-de-France, Paris

2011“Impossible Community,” Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Mosocow (cat.)
“Our Magic Hour,” Yokohama Triennale 2011: International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama (cat.)
“Somewhere Else,” Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona, Spain
“Kaza Ana / Air Hole: Another Conceptualism from Asia,” The National Museum of Art, Osaka

2010“Negotiations: The 2nd Today’s Document 2010,” Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
“Arts and Cities,” Aichi Triennale 2010, Aichi, Japan (cat.)
“Still Vast Reserves,” Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Australia (cat.)
“Extra Ordinary,” Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, U.K.
“Eating the Universe. Food in Art,” Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (cat.)
“NEANDERTHALIAN NIGHTS: The world is not at home,” Galleria ZERO…, Milano

2009“Eating the Universe. Food in Art,” Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (cat.)
“LINK – Flexible Deviation,” KOBE Biennale 2009, Kobe, Japan (cat.)
“Void of Memory,” Platform, KIMUSA, Seoul (cat.)
“Hundred Stories about Love,” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (cat.)
“Mash Up,” ARTSPACE, Auckland, New Zealand
“The Grand Illusion,” National Chang Kai Shek Cultural Center, Taipei

2008“Experimenta FOLKLORE,” Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
“Between Art and Life,” Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve
“The Street,” Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
“Florescendo: Brasil – Japao O seu lugar,” Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan (cat.)
“All Our Everydays,” Gallery VER, Bangkok (cat.)
“Laughing in a Foreign Language,” Hayward Gallery, London (cat.)

2007“Beautiful New World: Contemporary Visual Culture from Japan,” Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangdong, China
“Tracks of Okinawan Culture 1872-2007,” Okinawa Prefectural Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan (cat.)
“Tomorrow,” Artsonje Center + Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul (cat.)
“Beautiful New World: Contemporary Visual Culture from Japan,” Long March Project, Beijing (cat.)
“Oriente e tropico,” Instituto Cultural Usiminas, Ipatinga, Brazil
“How to live together,” MAC: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Santiago, Chile (cat.)
“Oriente e tropico,” Palacio das Artes, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
“The Door into Summer: The Age of Micropop,” Art Tower Mito, Japan (cat.)

2006“How to live together,” 27th Bienal de Sao Paulo (cat.)
“International 06,” Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (cat.)
“Empieza el juego,” La Casa Encendida, Madrid (cat.)
“ANSTOSS BERLIN,” Haus am Waldsee, Berlin
“Berlin-Tokyo Tokyo-Berlin,” Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (cat.)
“I love art 8,” Watari-Um, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

2005“Circa Berlin,” NIKOLAJ, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen (cat.)
2004“Video Dictionary,” La Casa Encendida, Madrid
“Utopia Station,” Haus der Kunst, Munich
“Expat -Art Centre,” ICA, London + Musee de Art Contenporain, Lyon
“MixMax,” Artsonje Center, Seoul (cat.)

2003Biennale of Ceramics in Contemporary Art 2nd edition, Riviera Ligure, Italy (cat.)
“U-Topos,” Tirana Biennale 2,Tirana, Albania (cat.)
“SPREAD IN PRATO 2,” Prato, Italy (cat.)
“Utopia Station,” 50th Venice Biennale, Venice (cat.)
“25 Hrs,” International Video Art Show, Barcelona (cat.)
“Time After Time,” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisico

2002Busan Biennale, Busan, Korea
“Upstream,” Amsterdam/Hoorn, Netherlands (cat.)
“La part de l’autre,” Carre d’Art, Nime, France (cat.)
“Radiodumb,” Zero Arte Contemporanea, Milano
“Art in the home,” Edinburgh
“C’est pas du cinema!,” Le Fresnoy, Studio National, Tourcoing, France (cat.)

2001“Rendez-Vous No.3,” Collection Lambert, Avignon, France
“Facts of Life,” Hayward Gallery, London (cat.)
“Mega Wave,” Yokohama 2001:International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama (cat.)
“Traveler’s Tale,” (web project), Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA), London.
“Ikiro-be alive,” Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands (cat.)
“The Beginning of Things – The 6th Kitakyusyu Biennale,” Kitakyusyu Municipal Museum of Art, Kita Kyusyu, Japan (cat.)
“Encounter,” Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo (cat.)

2000“Gift of Hope,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (cat.)
“Do it digital,” (web project), Kassel, Germany
“Transformer,” Raum aktueller Kunst Martin Janda, Vienna
“As it is,” Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, U.K. (cat.)
“COUNTER-PHOTOGRAPHY,” Moscow (international touring exhibition) (cat.)
“Elysian Fields,” Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (cat.)

1999“Empty Garden,” Watari-Um, the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (artist book)
“Extra et Ordinaire,” Printemps de Cahors, Cahors, France (cat.)
“Ivresse,” Ateliers d’Artistes de la Ville de Marseille, Marseille
“Space,” Witte de With, Rotterdam
“And/Or,” Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria

1998“Donaiyanen!,” Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (cat.)
“La Table,” Air de Paris, Paris
“every day,” 11th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (cat.)
“Memorealism,” Museum City Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan (cat.)

1996“Place for Survival,” Kurumi Kindergarten, Shizuoka, Japan
“The Stream from the South,” Kaseda, Kagoshima, Japan
“Survival Tool,” Sakura City Museum of Art, Chiba, Japan (cat.)
“Public Art Project – Sound Art,” Iwakura, Aichi, Japan (leaflet)
“Displacement-31st Today’s Artist,” Yokohama Citizens’ Gallery, Yokohama (cat.)

1995“From Duchamp to Duchamp,” Kita Kanto Museum of Fine Arts, Gunma, Japan
“Rolywholyover a Circus John Cage,” Art Tower Mito, Mito, Japan (cat.)

Selected Projects

Shimabuku. “Opening the Door,” Little More, Tokyo 2010
Shimabuku. “Cucumber Journey,” Shogakukan, Tokyo2004
Shimabuku. “Swansea Jack Memorial Dog Swimming Competition,” Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, U.K., 2003
Shimabuku. “SHIMABUKU 2001,” Kobe Art Village Center, Kobe, Japan, 2001
Shimabuku. “In Search of Deer,” Self-publishing, 2000
Shimabuku. “With Birds at Dawn,” On Sundays, Tokyo, 1999

Maestro, Lani., Shimabuku. “I’m traveling with a 165-metre mermaid/Je voyage avec une sirene de 165 metres,” Dazibao, Montreal, 1999