Exciting new exhibition comes to NMNM

A new exhibition by renowned Japanese artist Shimabuku is bringing a touch of the East to the Principality with The 165 Metre Mermaid and Other Stories at the New National Museum of Monaco-Villa Paloma.
The idea for the exhibit arose from a medieval legend that was told as an epic poem. The artist uses the theme to tell of his “adventures and encounters as he goes with the flow, roving between his native Japan and Monaco via Brazil, Australia and many other lands,” according to the New National Museum of Monaco (NMNM).
In a unique combination of land art, writings, performance, cooking and music, Shimabuku’s acts are spun together to form a narrative thread for exhibition, which uses his installations, films, photos and sculptures from the past three decades to create one magical event.
Shimabuku was born in Kobe in 1969 and studied at the Osaka College of Art before transferring to the San Francisco Art Institute. He then moved to Berlin in 2004 where he lived for 12 years before returning to Japan, where he took up residence in Naha, on Okinawa, where his family comes from.
Shimabuku describes his work as “poetical-philosophical, questioning our relationship with otherness and engaging with an individual or collective action of care and attention.”
Initiated on Norihama beach after the 2011 tsunami, the installation Erect has led to a new specific production created in Monaco following the poem-protocol established by the artist.
“Placing things upright. Placing the lying things upright. Placing the trees and stones that lie on the beach upright,” the artist says of his works. “With the collaboration of many people, we will place many things in an upright position. We will try to put our energy together to place huge trees as well in an upright position. This should make something that lies in our hearts stand up in an upright position.”
The exhibit will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the NMNM in conjunction with Berlin publisher Manuel Raeder, and will feature previously unpublished work by Nicolas Bourriaud, Claire Restif and Rikrit Tiravanija.
The 165 Metre Mermaid and Other Stories will run from 19th February to 3rd October.
Photo by Shimabuku