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Shozo Shimamoto

Shozo Shimamoto (Japan, 1928-2013)
Born in Osaka in 1928. Shimamoto was a founding Gutai member, participating since the establishment of the group in 1954, and a core presence throughout the group’s existence.

Among the avant-garde performers of Gutai, he was the fieriest artists of all in his performances. In the second Gutai Open-Air Exhibition in 1956, Shimamoto discharged bags of paint from a 4-meter long, 30-centimeter caliber iron pipe by acetylene gas explosion, to splash the paint on a red vinyl sheet measuring 10 x 10 meters ? what`s known as 'cannon painting.' This later developed into the method of throwing bottles of paint onto a stone placed on the center of the canvas.

Rather than following trends he conceived of new creative techniques and innovative performance activities. Shozo Shimamoto gave performances around the world, and worked diligently to internationalize the Japanese art scene.

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Becomes a founding member of the Gutai Movement, and participates in the most important successive Gutai exhibitions.
At the first Gutai exhibition he shows a revolutionary work to be enjoyed by the body : `Please walk on here`
Shows a painting realized by using a home-made cannon, at the Outdoor Gutai Art Exhibition
Shows his pioneering video and music concrete works at the first `Gutai Art on Stage` exhibition
Art producer for 1000 brides of the Artist`s Union group
Participates in the Mail Art Project involving 60 countries, becoming one of the chief representative
Invited to the 45th Venice Biennale as a member of Gutai
Invited to exhibit at Guggenheim Museum, New York
Promotes numerous pacifist activities since meeting Bern Porter, the physician
Who made the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima
He is the only Japanese artists since the Meiji Restoration to have his photo included in Art History, published by America Albums
Selected as one of the first four best artists of the world from the post-war , Along with Jackson Pollock, John Cage and Lucio Fontana on occasion of the `Out of Actions` show held at MOCA
Awarded with the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon
Large scale performance in Dijon sponsored by Felissimo Museum and Unesco
Invited to the London Japan Year, two works are included in the Tate Gallery and Tate Modern
Invited to the 50th Venice Biennale, Extra 50
Many exhibitions and performances in Europe, mostly in Italy, including `Nyotaku` performance at Ca` Pesaro International Gallery, Venice
A performance in Trevi where he throws paint from a helicopter, and Zonezero show in Dusseldorf
`Bottle Crash` performance at the opening of Karuizawa New Art Museum `Guta – Sprit of an Era`, the National Art Center, Tokyo
`Gutai: Splendid playground`, Guggenheim Museum, New York


  • Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art Osaka Museum of Modern Art
  • The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Nara Municipal Museum
  • Takamatsu City Museum of Art
  • Ashiya City Museum of Art and History
  • The Miyagi Museum of Art
  • Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art
  • Museum of Fine Art, Gifu
  • Tate Modern, London
  • Tate Gallery, Liverpool
  • Galleria Nazionale d`Arte Moderna, Rome
  • The Centre Pompidou, Paris
  • Galleria Internaxionale d`Arte Moderna Ca` Pesaro, Naples
  • Many other museums