SYDNEY, Australia — Taro Shinoda (b. 1964, Tokyo) became an artist after receiving an education in gardening school, according to his biography at Taka Ishii Gallery. His work is an attempt to understand the universe and cosmic space as something that continuously evolves. He is especially interested in the ways in which human activities coexist with nature.
Above image: Taro Shinoda, Abstraction of Confusion, 2016; clay, pigment, ochre, tatami mats, variable dimensions. Photographs by Ben Symons. Courtesy of the artist.
He’s currently exhibiting Abstraction of Confusion (2016) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney. The Biennale states that this meditative installation includes clay, pigment, ochre and tatami mats. The work is tied to the artist’s interest in Zen ideology, particularly the writings of Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki. The museum states of the work:
“Japanese artist Taro Shinoda’s hand-built installations and contemplative sculptural works are informed by karesanui, traditional Japanese garden design and creation, and the associated philosophical concepts and Zen ideology, particularly the writings of Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki. Shinoda perceives nature as an evolving and inclusive entity, coexisting alongside human activities. His works possess an intrinsic meditative simplicity and beauty, reflecting a deep consideration of nature, humanity, philosophy and science.”
The artist recently traveled to Yirrkala, where he tried to learn how Aboriginal people relate to the environment in the 21st century, according to the museum. The artist states:
“Just as Japan got confused during the Meiji revolution through its contact with Western culture, I think there is also a similar ‘confusion’ with Aboriginal culture being in touch with Western culture. The way the painted ochre and clay wall cracks and peels with time symbolizes the fact that the culture is constantly changing. I can’t give an answer to how we should live in the future, but I created this platform where people can contemplate and think about these things.”
Do you love or loathe this installation of contemporary ceramic art? Let us know in the comments.