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Article: ARTIDE Kenji Shimizu


ARTIDE Kenji Shimizu

Born in 1971 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Completed the Department of Design, Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts.
Shimizu's works, which have participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, incorporate many classic elements of Japanese painting, such as cherry blossoms and Mt. It is none other than Bridley's presence.
The tin bird "Bridley" was born as a symbol of time while drawing many old toys. Not only are they used as cute toys, but they are also depicted in a variety of phantasmagoric forms, including phoenixes and Yatagarasu.
He is an artist who depicts the unique world of Bridley.


Multi Compact Wallet-SHIMIZU KENJI “Surfing Bridolly”

Why did I start expressing it?

My family was a sign shop, so half of the house was a workshop, so I grew up surrounded by wood and the smell of paint and thinner. When I was a child, I enjoyed making things using scraps of wood that I found in my workshop, and when I was in elementary school, I enjoyed drawing and doing crafts at a nearby art class.
When I entered high school, I did not join the art club, but went to an art preparatory school where I studied copperplate engraving, sculpture, and object production. I thought it was just for fun, but before I knew it, I had to take the entrance exam for an art school, and after graduating, I became a full-time vocation of art.
I've been making things for most of my life, but I don't think that's an expression.
It wasn't until I entered university that I realized that I needed to express something using the techniques I had cultivated. It's probably different for people who started art because they wanted to express themselves as adults, but many people who graduated from art schools didn't start art because they wanted to express themselves. I think many people learn how to express themselves after entering the industry.

What does expression mean to me?

For me, expression means creating works to communicate to others, define problems, challenge art, self-confirmation, etc. There is no particular cause. I'm not doing it for anyone, I'm basically just doing it for myself because I like it.
Of course I would be happy if my work could move people's hearts and emotions even a little bit, but I also want to change something, whether it's moving people's hearts or using the power of art to save someone. I'm not doing it thinking that. That's presumptuous, and to be honest, I don't think art has that kind of power, but I'm sure there are people who are touched by it, and it can be powerful. However, for me, expression is a more personal thing.
I feel like that's all I want to do: ``I want to leave behind the traces that I lived in this era.''

What do you want to express with your work?

The concept of my work is "time and memory." This concept is expressed using a tin bird toy as a motif. It all started when I drew a rusty tin bird that was stained with memories of someone playing with it long ago. As I drew it, I imagined the tin bird rusting over time, decaying, and eventually returning to the earth mixed with the sand.
Furthermore, I wanted to incorporate ``the era in which I live'' into my work, so I decided to incorporate Japan's unique character culture. And the tin bird "briki+dolly" was born. We create a unique world view by fusing the present and the past, such as modern characters and ancient Japanese art.

What do you worry about other than spending time in front of your work?

When I'm not creating work, I'm often thinking about what I'll create or present next, and planning exhibitions. I usually do other hobby crafts, but I'm thinking about it while I'm doing that. As soon as I have an idea, I write it down and search the internet for information on the materials and vendors needed for production, but I often find myself unable to stop searching and end up researching for hours on end.
It's not an exaggeration to say that it comes down to me, but when I do come up with an idea, it happens suddenly, and I end up leaving the work I was doing in order to act on it before I forget. As a result, there is always unfinished work scattered around the studio.

What do you expect from the expression that will become the same as TIDE?

I'm the type of person who takes on new challenges, experiments, and research as soon as I feel stable, so I really sympathize with TIDE's challenging and challenging attitude.
I think "transformation" means reflecting oneself in something, embodying one's ideas, but unlike dancers and singers, it is normal for artists to simply translate it into a product. The work falls into the domain of the designer. Unlike designers, artists do not have clients. I don't have any production instructions from anyone, but I express what I want to express in the form I like, so this work with TIDE required a different design way of thinking than usual, and I found it very interesting and made various discoveries. had. We believe that manufacturing that fuses the technologies of both parties will expand each other's possibilities.

Where does the future of expression lie?

There are countless ways of expression today, including writing, music, acting, art, dance, film, photography, and CG. New expression methods, methods, techniques, and technologies are being created every day in each field, and new expression methods are also being created by merging across genre boundaries.
The number of tools that allow us to promote ourselves, such as comments, images, and videos on SNS, has increased, and I think that the world is becoming more positive about expressing itself and feels that it is important.
In recent years, keywords such as original, personal, and individuality have increased, and many people have begun to assert their individuality. I think the future of expression is bright. We artists, too, must feel, absorb, challenge, and change with the changing times so that we don't become lost.

Thoughts put into the original drawings and works of ARTIDE Vol.2

<About original picture production>
The title of this work is the original character's name "BRIDOLLY".
This is a picture of Bridley standing with a power spring. Bridley has changed into many different forms over the years, but this time I created it while remembering the first time I started drawing Bridley.

At first, I drew while looking at actual bird toys, so the shapes and movements were different from what I see now, and they didn't have any facial expressions. I was originally an orthodox figurative type who drew while looking at the motif, so drawing from images was a difficult hurdle for me to overcome.
I have a personality that doesn't like stability and I don't like being tied down, but I was hesitant to change the style I've been using for over ten years because I was worried about the people who have supported me up until now. At that time, I remembered a line from Visconti's movie ``Wildcat'': ``In order to stay the same, you must change.'' In my case, in order to continue drawing until I die, I think it is important to continue to create honestly and without fear of change. As long as the core is strong, it doesn't matter how the surface layer changes. I came up with this idea and was able to overcome the wall.

I incorporate Japan's unique character culture into my expressions. Having been exposed to anime, manga, etc. since I was a child, it is inevitable that these elements will be reflected in my works, but I have not released works that have a very anime or manga feel.
There is a drawing on a cel that has never been published and has become almost extinct in recent years. I created this with the desire to recycle materials that have become unnecessary as technology advances into works of art, and this time I focused on the screentones of manga. Manga artists have traditionally cut and pasted images to express gray, etc., but these days, manga has become digital and this is becoming extinct. In Japan, color comics are not as popular as they are in other countries, and monochrome comics are the norm. Thanks in part to this, screen tones have evolved uniquely in Japan in order to express a variety of expressions in monochrome manga. I've had the desire to use screentone elements in my work for a long time, but I've been unable to do so for 10 years due to lack of timing, but now that I've been given the opportunity to design a wallet shoulder, I've finally decided to start using them in conjunction with my work. I decided to take a look.
Apart from the tone, I also wanted to express the "printing" element of manga, so this time I also researched new techniques. In order to create the look of a stamp without handwriting, we repeatedly experimented with materials and techniques. It looks like a print, but there is no version. It's difficult to control, and I create it by looking at the expressions that can be created by chance. We plan to continue developing it as a MANGA series in the future.

<About shoulder wallet>
Inspired by a monochrome manga, the leather color is a monochrome combination.
The patchwork on the front side features Screentone's signature patterns, dots, stripes, concentrated lines, etc., and the back side has a page from a manga silkscreened on it. Because it is hand-printed, there may be individual differences such as fading, but it represents the elements of manga printing.


1971 <br>Born in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture
1995 <br>Won the Grand Prize and Mayor's Award at the 29th Kawasaki City Art Exhibition
1996 <br>1st Northern Earth Biennale Grand Prize Exhibition Honorable Mention (Award Candidate)
1998 <br>4th Premonition of Beauty Exhibition Nihonbashi Kyoto Osaka Yokohama/Takashimaya
2000 <br>35th Showa-kai Exhibition Ginza
2001 <br>Beauty Opening a New Century Exhibition Nihonbashi Yokohama Osaka Kyoto
2002 <br>Kenji Shimizu Exhibition Nagoya
2003 <br>Kenji Shimizu Exhibition Ginza Gallery Wada
2009 <br>Kenji Shimizu Exhibition ~Words~ Ginza Gallery Wada
KENJI SHIMIZU EXHIBITION2011'Flowers× Bridollies'Kacho Yokohama/Takashimaya
year 2012
2013 <br>Art Fair Tokyo'Kenji Shimizu Exhibition -FRAPPING- Tokyo/Tokyo International Forum
Kenji Shimizu Exhibition Merry Bristmas Tokyo, Kyobashi Gallery
2014 <br>Art Fair Tokyo'Kenji Shimizu Exhibition Tokyo/Tokyo International Forum Kyobashi Gallery Booth
~Alumni of Chinami Nakajima Laboratory, Tokyo University of the Arts~ “Exhibition of five artists who will lead the next generation” Abeno Harukas, Osaka
“Bar BRIDOLLY” Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo
Kenji Shimizu Painting Exhibition Ikebukuro Tobu
“Art Wonderland​” Tokyo/Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi
Graduates of Chinami Nakajima Laboratory, Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School "Exhibition of Five Artists Who Will Lead the Next Generation" (Fukuya, Hiroshima)
“Kenji Shimizu’s Summer Visit to Bridolly” Fukuyama Tenmaya “BRIDOLLY CAFE” Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo
2016 <br>Kenji Shimizu Painting Exhibition “BRIDOLLIES” Ikebukuro Tobu, Tokyo
UROKOKAI (Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo) Every year since then
BS Fuji Appeared in “The Eve of Break ~Next Generation Artists~” “Tanzaku Exhibition Drawn by Popular Artists” Kenji Shimizu Exhibition, Sogo Chiba Store BRIDOLLY artbook & miniature​ Tokyo, Kyobashi Gallery
“DYNAMIC Go! 50! GO!-NAGAI50th ANNIVERSARY” Ikebukuro Seibu, Tokyo
Kenji Shimizu Exhibition “-DRAGON” Kenji Shimizu Exhibition at Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo “All-Star Bridolly” Lucky Exhibition by Artists at Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo Takashimaya, Osaka and Kyoto
2018 <br>Auspicious Exhibition by Painters Osaka Takashimaya Kenji Shimizu Exhibition ~ Tsukio Kairai ~ Yamaguchi/Ube Izutsuya Shimizu Kenji Exhibition ~ Mauri Bird Ranman ~ Yamaguchi/Yamaguchi Izutsuya Shimizu Kenji Exhibition The World of BRIDOLLY Tokyo, Ginza Shimizu Kenji Mitsukoshi Exhibition The World of BRIDOLLY Tokyo, Shinseido
2019 <br>Large luxury exhibition Osaka Takashimaya
ART TOYAMA2019 Toyama/Toyama Yamato
ART TAIPEI Taipei Contemporary Artist Calendar Exhibition Sign of Tomorrow Osaka/Takashimaya Osaka Store
NEXT Painters who will lead the next generation Sapporo/Tokyu Department Store/Kanazawa/Yamato Korinbo Store
Kenji Shimizu Exhibition Mt. Mt. Mauri Bird Illustration, Kyobashi Gallery, Tokyo
2020 <br>HANKYU BRIDOLLY monochrome Tokyo Shinseido
J-POP Art Exhibition (Hiroshima/Hiroshima Mitsukoshi)
2021 <br>Fuji/Cherry Blossom Banquet Exhibition (Kyoto/Kyoto Takashimaya)
Kenji Shimizu Exhibition - Mairi Toridori - Bridley Iro Toridori ( Osaka, Takashimaya Osaka Store)
Animal exhibition 2021 ” ( Bunkamura Gallery , Tokyo)


Many other solo exhibitions, group exhibitions, art fairs, etc.

<Click here for ARTIDE Vol.2 special page>

<Click here for ARITDE Vol.1 product page>

<Click here for ARTIDE Vol.1 Makuake page>

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