SHIMURAbros is the sister and brother artist team of Yuka and Kentaro Shimura. They launched in Yokohama, their birthplace, and developed as artists in Asia, mainly China, prior to receiving the Pola Art Foundation grant and moving their base to Berlin. They are currently engaged in research and development for documentation of Studio Olafur Eliasson, who is the famous artist for its sophisticated large-scale installations incorporating natural elements such as light, water, and fog. Aside from exhibiting in Europe, SHIMURAbros has participated in artist-in-residence programs internationally.
The current exhibition consists of three installations. Silver Screen is an installation emblematic of SHIMURAbros’ concern with the transformative nature of filmmaking. It exposes the presence of viewers and a projector itself through reflections of the light in mirrors arranged around the screen. Film Without Film demonstrates the artists’ most recent interpretation of long continuing research on the theme of the true value of film. It is a three-dimensional sculptural work combining the latest technology of 3D printing with data from old films. It is intentionally difficult to comprehend, meaning that its innovative expression is not discernable with preconceptions about film. Trace - Sky - Tokyo Story , the work triggered by the distortions of Google Street View that uses omni-directional cameras, sounds a warning against innovative mechanism to ‘see’ our world. The artists chose to show the zigzags of electrical wires as errors on Google Street View of the Tokyo sky. Motivated by Ozu Yasujiro’s Tokyo Story, which symbolizes the wire-laden Tokyo sky in Japanese cinema, this work reflects new perceptions of literacy emerging from the progress of technology. They added optical glass, a material they became familiar with in their research at Studio Olafur Eliasson, to the mirrors they normally used in their works. The contemporary distortions in Tokyo sky vividly emerges through the multiple images and rich color produced by the optical glass along with the mirror reflection repetitions of cut-off electrical wire images.
The story of the audience running in fear at the first screening of the Lumière brothers’ Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat is well known. Film as a media was new and the nature of film was not understood. Perhaps the confusion we now experience with the rapid advance of technology might be akin to what the audience felt about the oncoming train in the Lumière film. Something unique or absolute may no longer exist. How can we make choices in our diverse world, and by what means can we come to understand what we see? In Seeing is Believing SHIMURAbros offers us a hint about the essentials of the needs of our daily lives.