Shimon Minamikawa was born (1972) and presently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Minamikawa’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions including a solo exhibition at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery (1999) and, most recently,Inman Gallery, Houston (2007) as well as Gallery Loop, Seoul (2006).
Shimon Minamikawa approaches painterly abstraction through the use of an illustrative vocabulary. Minamikawa’s painitngs are coupled with a “literal” yet often-times overly general title (some examples :”person in white shirt”, “pink on pink and newscaster”) which serve as a prompt to viewers to approach the paintings without consideration of specific content. This emptying effect happens on a formal level as Minamikawa never presents a painting per se; but, rather, always an abstraction or illustration of a possible painitng. Minamikawa utilizes figurative elements and grand themes – the present exhibition employing the words “war and peace” – in a subversive manner; content as a self-relexive, self-cancelling tool.
Shimon Minamikawa’s present exhibition, “Pink, Black…War and Peace”, is informed by the artist’s recent consideration of mediated imagery. Television news broadcasts include information about world events together with reports on various enetrtainment-related social happenings. When Minamikawa views such disjoint imagery he considers his position as in-between meaning and non-meaning. Positive or negative, the television images are simply this – images – and the subsequent emptying of meaning leaves Minamikawa in an absurd position; particularly as Minamikawa relies upon such re-presentation to gain knowledge about the world. These images comprise Minamikawa’s world of facts. Consciousness of this paradoxical situation -dependence upon non-meaning to provide “sense” to the world – prompted Minamikawa set to work on the new body of paintings to be presented at the gallery.