November 11, 2009 - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Taro Shinoda
November 11, 2009

Taro Shinoda

Taro Shinoda, Drawing of Lunar Reflection Transmission Technique #2, 2007.

Taro Shinoda
Lunar Reflections

November 5, 2009 – January 31, 2010

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
280 The Fenway
Boston, Ma

The art of Taro Shinoda engages themes of science, philosophy, and desire, and investigates our place in the universe. As he reflects on philosophical considerations of contemporary life he is thinking about how we might better function as a society.

During his month-long stay at the Gardner Museum in the spring of 2007, Shinoda was inspired by the moonlight and the sense of calm that reigns at night in the museum courtyard to develop his Lunar Reflection Transmission Technique. The project was rooted in the artist’s early childhood memories of trying to communicate with his mother over great distances, entrusting messages to the moon, which he hoped his mother would receive on the other side of the planet when the moon rose for her.

For this project, Shinoda constructed an astronomical telescope out of corrugated cardboard and attached a video camera to it; with this instrument he filmed the moon from different parts of the world, including Istanbul, Limerick, Tokyo and Boston. He described his endeavor in the following way:

“It’s not a bad place here, but with the entire land covered in asphalt and riding my bicycle while avoiding all the electrical currents and electro-pulses, I yearn for the flowing of water and the drifting of the clouds. These days I am working on reviving my old skills, of the lunar reflection transmission technique. Every night when the moon is out I bicycle outside and spend many hours and try to remember what that technique was. I’ve spent many nights attempting it, but have a long ways to go until I can use the technique like I used to be able to. Like how not everything you see is as it seems, your intuition can’t tell you all you need to know. And how the concept of “American Civilization” seems to be integrating everything as we know it, there seems to be something above that which exists as fact. Even if our future comes up from behind us, and even if we aren’t used to walking backwards, as adults I feel it is imperative to learn those techniques.”

Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections will include an engawa—a Japanese viewing platform that traditionally separates the domestic space from the garden, an enchanted space. From this vantage point, visitors may sit and meditate on their place in the universe as they watch Shinoda’s extraordinary films of the moon and mysterious nocturnal cityscapes.

Taro Shinoda’s work has been shown in: Korea at the Busan Biennale; Turkey at the Istanbul Biennial; Limerick, Ireland at the EV+A festival; Los Angeles at the Roy and Edna Disney Calarts Theater; Tokyo at the Mori Art Museum; San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Lithuania at the Baltic Triennale; and Yokohama, Japan, at the International Triennale of Contemporary Art. Shinoda has been an artist-in-residence at REDCAT, Los Angeles and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. Shinoda was born in Tokyo, where he continues to live and work.


Saturday, November 7 at 1:30 PM
Artist Talk: Taro Shinoda and contemporary curator Pieranna Cavalchini discuss the artist’s work.

Thursday November 12 at 6:30 PM
Room Views: Taro Shinoda, director Anne Hawley and curator Alan Chong consider the magic of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Courtyard.

Every Third Thursday, November to January
Gardner AfterHours: 7PM gallery talk. Guest Speakers include Eugne Joo, Keith Haring Director and Curator at the New Museum (December 17)

Thursday December 31st
Lunar Reflections: Celebrate the full moon with an installation of Taro Shinoda in the Courtyard and a performance of Pierrot Lunaire with Paula Robison and friends.

The Artist-in-residence program is made possible, in part, by the Nimoy Foundation, The Thomas A. Pappas Charitable Foundation, and generous individuals. The Gardner Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
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