Shozo Shimamoto, Please, walk on here (Kono-ue wo Aruite Kudasai) (1955)

person walking on a bridge sculpture

Shozo Shimamoto, Please, walk on here (Kono ue o aruite kudasai) (1955)

“In July 1955 Shimamoto created his work Please Walk on Here as a part of the “Experimental Outdoor Exhibition of Modern Art to Challenge the Midsummer Sun” in Ashiya City.[20] The work consisted of two narrow sets of wooden boards arranged in a straight path. One set was stable to walk on while the other was unstable, akin to a broken rope bridge.[20]Please Walk on Here was reproduced and exhibited on the occasion of the 1993 Venice Biennale.[11]” [credit]

“Co-founder of the Japanese avant-garde collective the Gutai Art Group in the 1950s, Shozo Shimamoto pioneered action painting, performance art, and mail art, with a prevailing concern for the tension between the element of chance and the artist’s control. Early in his career, while painting on newspaper, he accidentally punctured the surface—an entirely chance event that he would transform into a formal, repetitive operation. He began a career-long study of the violent encounter with the surface of the painting, primarily through the creation of holes and cuts. Painting in vivid color and forming abstract forms with irregularly patterned holes, Shimamoto found that his gestures left a record of the artist’s physical action and gave the image a performative element. He eventually expanded his practice into live performance, often staging the creation of his paintings for a live audience.” [credit]