https://www.epo.org/en/node/chihiro-shimotani

Chihiro Shimotani

Diagonale [Diagonal], 1992
Stone, screen print
2380 x 710 cm

The existence of the thinking being in the universe: that, no less, is the theme chosen by Chihiro Shimotani (*1934 Sakurai, JP) as the basis for his conceptual art. Born in Japan, Shimotani's frequent visits to Germany and other European countries have given him a deep affection for different cultures. His quest for ways to translate into visual language the philosophical notions that relate to the transience of human existence revolves around a single constant, the written word. This he employs as the basis for transmitting his insight into the human condition. In the artwork simply titled "Diagonale" [Diagonal] (1992), Shimotani finds a new way to express the finite nature of the existence of the thinking being. Excerpts from daily papers from around the world are screen-printed onto the flat surface of the large split rocks running diagonally across the piece. As the viewer moves from the spot where a rock's printed surface is visible, there is a sense of news, out of date almost as soon as published, being swallowed by the rock. Using rocks as a symbol for permanence and daily papers ephemerality, Shimotani contrasts the finitude of human life with the constancy of nature. In not stating this openly but concealing it on the cut face of rocks, he creates a meditative artistic space that inspires in the viewer a conscious awareness of his own existence.

Diagonale [Diagonal], 1992 Stone, screen print 2380 x 710 cm
Diagonale [Diagonal], 1992
Stone, screen print
2380 x 710 cm
Laterne I+II [Lanterns I and II], 2004 Granite, light source 140 x 140 x 90 cm, 90 x 140 x 140 cm
Laterne I+II [Lanterns I and II], 2004
Granite, light source
140 x 140 x 90 cm, 90 x 140 x 140 cm
Laterne II [Lanterns II], 2004 Granite, light source 140 x 140 x 90 cm, 90 x 140 x 140 cm
Laterne II [Lanterns II], 2004
Granite, light source
140 x 140 x 90 cm, 90 x 140 x 140 cm

©Chihiro Shimotani