Utako Shindo


Public Talk - 'Subtle shades draw an opening path: the poetic work of Agnes Martin’s art'

Wednesday February 5, 2020
St Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art
(107 W. Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501)

' Subtle shades draw an opening path: the poetic work of Agnes Martin’s art'

Utako Shindo, Ph.D. is a Tokyo artist whose studio and research pursuits are the untranslatability of art and nuanced shadow-light as poetic medium. Her year-long project based in New Mexico traces Martins’ artistic path — scholarly and experientially. She is seeking a deeper understanding of how Martin’s abstractions embody ineffable life and express universal emotions. In turn, Shindo’s own art now reflects her understanding of Martin’s path. Shindo is a Japanese government creative fellow and a resident at Linda Swanson’s Forde Visser Archive Southwest, Santa Fe.

(image: a study work on paper in studio (detail), Utako Shindo, 2019)

Open Studio - 'Attitude and State of Mind'

Saturday January 25, 2020
9:30 am - 4:30 pm, followed by 'A twilight Walk along the Santa Fe River’
Linda Swanson's Forde Visser Archive Southwest
(1674 Camino McMillin, Santa Fe, NM, 87507)

'Attitude and State of Mind'

"I came to Santa Fe almost a year ago to experience the path-ways of one artist in particular, but my own art practice has been stimulated serendipitously by crossing those of many others, including some of yours. All this has guided my living and art-making to respond and relate to what I imagine Agnes might have attuned herself to: the universal, atmospheric and human movements that traverse, ascend and descend from/to New Mexico over the thousands of years. At the Open Studio where I will be working as well as welcoming your visits, I hope to share and demonstrate my understandings of Martins’ artistic path. It, indeed, extends to mine and yours, quietly nourishing such an attitude and state of mind among us to embrace our poetic being in this life-world.

Open Studio will be followed by 'A twilight walk along the Santa Fe River', which has become an important and favorite part of my practice here. It will take us about an hour on the partly sandy and dirt path, and towards the sunset and the moonset on the 25th."

(image: from the walk along the Santa Fe Rive, Utako Shindo, 2019)

Fellowship 2019 (Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan), hosted by FVA Southwest, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Utako is currently undertaking a year-long research and creative project (March 2019 -February 2020), hosted by Linda A. Swanson's Forde Visser Archive Southwest (Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA), as a Creative fellow 2018-19 through Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists (Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan) & a Japanese fellow 2019 (Japan-United States Exchange Friendship Program in the Arts).

The project is prompted and guided by Agnes Martin's art practice and legacy found within and beyond the milieu of Northern New Mexico. Utako conducts both research and creative activities that include studying archives and collections, meeting with those who associated with Martin, and immersing herself deeply and openly into the rich cultural, natural and artistic environments that continuously nuture American Art.

The project focuses on developing Utako's art practice, manifested in drawing, installation and writing, through exploring how Martin's artworks embody, what she calls, 'abstrace emotion', 'beauty', 'innocence' and 'happiness', which Utako relates to her own interest in 'the untranslatable': life that transfers. The project also intends to gain more nuanced understandings of Martin's art practice by investigating its inter-cultural/disciplinary/generational qualities.

The outcome of the project will be presented and shared through exhibitions, public talks and writings (TBC).

The project's updates on instagram posts @utako_shizi

(image: The exterior view of 'the FVA Southwest' in the monsoon season)

Publication: Fierce Latitudes

Interview by Angela Conner in /Fierce Latitudes

Established in 2015, Fierce Latitudes is an ongoing publication that features in-depth interviews with an eclectic group of artists.

It has been wonderful experience to be invited to this exciting publication project by Angela Conner - the photographer, writer and designer, currently based in Melbourne -, and to share dialogues with her since she returned from Berlin where she had started 'Fierce Latitudes'.

Read the interview

(image: 'Fierce Latitudes' webpage)

Biennial Conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia & Shadow Worlds Exhibition

27 - 30 June 2017
/University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Conference website
Theme: Democracy, and the Digital Age and the Arts

Exhibition website
Shadow Worlds explores artistic responses to the hidden, the subtle and the overlooked through installation, photography, textiles, video and sound.

It was most inpiring and informative experience to join the JSAA conference 2017, through a panel presentation with Dr. Elizabeth Presa and Jung Moon, Dr. Mayuko Itoh, and through a group show with Agnieszka Golda, Haji Oh, and Jo Law. Special thanks to the conference convener, Prof. Vera Mackie, the exhibition curator, Agnieszka Golda, and the artist and senior lecturer, Jo Law and her family.

(image_right: exhibition signage on the entrance wall with shadows, 2017)

View the work exhibited -> Shadowlight

Group Show: 9 X 5 NOW

16 June - 25 June 2017 /VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

9 X 5 NOW is one of the highlights of ART150, a year-long program of events, interviews and expert commentary to celebrate 150 years of art in Melbourne at the VCA and its predecessor institutions – a lineage that began with the establishment of the National Gallery of Victoria Art School in 1867.

The work presented: Contained Cows, Aso / Photo relief print on fabric / 2017 (image)

Curated Public Screening: ALIEN/S

27 March - 25 June 2017 /BLINDSIDE Satelite, Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia

ALIEN/S is put together by Melbourne-based artist, Kiron Robinson, for the satelite film screening series, 'PlAY 2' at Federation Square, cordinated by the artist run initiative, BLINDESIDE, Melbourne. ALIEN/S screened video works by Poklong Anading, Rico Entico, Cocoy Lumbao, Sanja Pahoki, MM Yu and myself.
PLAY2 website

"I wasn't born in Australia. As a kid I moved around a lot between countries and home before stopping in Melbourne. I still feel like there is somewhere else I should go to. Often it is just another part of the city, somewhere I haven't seen before, somewhere that has seen me. The artists in this program all in one way or another are considering this idea. being somewhere while thinking about somewhere else, being somewhere while being seen as from being somewhere else." - Kiron Robinson

It is a great honor to be part of 'ALIEN/S', showing my video work Topology Between The Three (2014-16) to the public. Many thanks to Kiron and BLINDSIDE.

(image: documentation of the screening 'Topology Between The Three' at Federation Square, Melbourne, 2016 / photo by Guy Grabowsky)

Artist-in-Residency at Bundanon Trust

8 May - 31 May 2017 /Bundanon Trust, Bundanon, Australia

Bundanon Trust is one of the most inspiring milieu that I have ever been. The nature, fauna, flola are so beautiful and unique that I can still clearly remember. The presence of the artistic spirits, of the Boyd family's and former residency artists' are so profound that something has shifted in my way of thinking bout art. What I started to work during the residency are going to be developed into a body of work, which will be exhibited in the up-coming group shows and an solo exhibition. Many many thanks to people at the Trust and fellow residency artists.


(image: baby wombat lives under Gonski and Sherman apartments , 2017)

View the work produced -> Shadow Drawing-Lilli Pilly

Curated Exhibition: Phantasmagoria

7 April - April 2017
Bogong Centre for Sound Culture , Bogong Village, Australia
*Opening Festival: 7-9 Aprail

Exhibition website

PHANTASMAGORIA is a free site responsive exhibition, located at Bogong Village, curated by Madelynne Cornish and Philip Samartzis (co-directors of BSCS - Bogong Centre for Sound Culture). I presented my work, developed from my research during the supported residency program at BCSC in 2016. It was fascinating to come back to the village and meet again with other fellow residency artists, many of them come from sound-art background.

Many thanks to BSBC and Australian Artists’Grant (NAVA) for their generous support.

(image: installation shot from the opening night / photo by Luke Barrett)

View the exhibition -> Imago

Award (CCP SALON 2016) & Supported Residency (BCSC)

CCP SALON 2016, November - December 2016 / Centre For Contemporary Photography
Supported residenty: 10 - 23 October 2016 / Bogong Centre for Sound Culture

My photogrpahic print work, 'shadowlight', is awarded 'Best Landscape'. at Australia's largest open-entry competition, CCP Salon 2016 . This moon-lit landscape was shot in the Victorian highlands (Australia), during my undertaking the supoorted artist-in-residency program at Bogong Cetnre For Sound Culture in October 2016. My residency activities is recorded in my journal entiries to BCSC website.

Many Thanks to CCP and BCSC.

(image: shadowlight , 2016, digital print, 40x60cm)

Solo Exhibition at Sutton Projects

ここがどこなのか_ where it is here_どうでもいいことさ_it does not matter_どうやって来たのか_how I have got here_忘れられるかな_can I forget

19 March - 16 April 2016
Wed., Fri.& Sat. 1-5pm (closes on Easter Friday & Saturday)
/ Sutton Projects, 230 Young Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
*Opening 19 March, 4-6PM

Like a little child chasing a butterfly, here and there, I try to capture a shifting atmosphere with my eyes and hands. Their shapes sometimes look like my mother’s and my grandmother’s, who have shown me how to live one’s life lovingly. But I am still learning to do so, as it is a difficult task.
In his essay, The Translator’s Task, the philosopher, Walter Benjamin redefined ‘translation’ from what makes “itself remember the meaning of the original” to what “must lovingly, and in detail, fashion in its own language a counterpart to the original’s mode of intention”.
I imagine that it will be the same risk and chance for a poet to translate love, as for an artist, but it would be the ultimate task.
My exhibition title is the first line of a 70’s Japanese song, 恋は桃色 (Love is Pink), written by Hosono Haruomi. When one is in love, the world appears so different that one forgets everything and accepts everything. Such poetic experience/reflection is perhaps untranslatable, but that is what my artwork is longing for. 

(image: still from video work, Gesture of Shadows)

View the exhibition -> ここがどこなのか_ where it is here_...

Curated project: 未来への視座 Vision For Future [15] [element]

27 October - 1 November 2015
/ gallery TEN, Tokyo
3 December 2015 - 21 January 2016
/ Morioka Art Space Mooni, Morioka

'Vision for Future' is a series of exhibition project, which has been organized annually for the last 15 years by Clear Graphic (久利屋グラフィック), the silkscreen print workshop, based in Musashino, western Tokyo. The principal printers of the workshop, Hiroshi Matsumura(松村宏) and Tomomi Tanaka(田中智美), encourage participating artists to make a new print in response to a theme, set differently each year according to both social and artistic concerns at the time. The project allows various explorations to take place around the idea and practice of 'printmaking.' All the prints are also archived in a box, available for the number of participants, so that each exploration is shared beyond the context of the exhibition.

For more information ->gallery website

Utako will present her new work, which employs embossing process as a way to individuate an element that consists of every edition of a same print. In so doing, the work questions what makes a work of print singular and multiple simultaneously. Through playing with the materiality of different paper and the application of color, it also explores the difference in one’s experience of the same work between exhibition and archive contexts.

(image_right: Exhibition Flyer)

The Second UTokyo Workshop on Philosophy of Perception

24 - 25 October 2015
/ Komaba Campus, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo

The workshop is organized by Dr. John O'dea, Associate Professor at Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies,The University of Tokyo. The invited Speakers are Derek Brown, Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Fiona Macpherson, Katsunori Miyahara, Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz, Junichi Murata, Utako Shindo, and more...

For more information ->Workshop website

Utako will give her artist talk during the workshop, to introduce her recent PhD research which discusses 'Perception in Art'. The date&time to be confirmed.

(image_right: Utako Shindo 'The reflection of the sunlight', 2006)

Solo Exhibition at Hagiso

'Mokudoku - 目読’

3 - 22 February 2015
tues.-sun. 12-9pm
/ Hagi Art, Tokyo

The accumulation of translation repeated.
To read what your eyes will see in silence.

Event: 'Reading Night-読書夜会 at Hagi Bar'
/9:30-11:30 pm/ Saturday 14 February/ 1Drink ¥500/
In reading texts such as Walter Benjamin's 'The Task of the Translator' and Jacques Rancière's‘The Emancipated Spectator', together we will talk about 'seeing' in art. ヴァルター・ベンヤミンの「翻訳者の課題」、ジャック・ランシエールの「解放された観客」などのテクストを共に読みながら、「観ること」について語り合う。

Media Release / プレスリリース

View the work produced -> Mokudoku-目読

Group Exhibition at George Paton Gallery

'Topologies of Sexual Differece'

9 - 12 December 2014
mon. & fri. 11-5pm
/ George Paton Gallery , Melbourne
Opening reception 4:30-7pm Thursday 11 December

Cherelyn Brearley, Janet Burchill, Virginia Fraser, Helen Johnson, Marina Kassianidou, Utako Shindo Kanai, Danni McCarthy, Joanne Makas, Alex Martinis Roe, Caroline Phillips, Kerrie Poliness, Elizabeth Presa, Julieanna Preston, Grace Pundyk, Tania Smith, Jacqueline Taylor, Terry Taylor and Alison Thomson

(image_right: Utako Shindo, Untranslatable Between the Three (detail), wall installation with video work and works on paper, 2014)

"In order to think and to experience sexual difference, Irigaray suggests reconsidering the Western tradition's conceptions of space and time. Conceptual and material practices in sculpture, painting, photography, text and video engage in powerful dialogue with the strategies, metaphors, spaces and places envisaged within and beyond Irigaray’s work to manifest new discourses and expand our ways of seeing and living sexual difference."
This exhibition is a part of the Topologies of Sexual Difference Luce Irigaray Circle Conference, Melbourne, Australia, hosted by The Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and The Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre at RMIT.
Conference website

View the work produced -> Untranslatable between the three

Solo Exhibition at Perimeter Books

'Distancing for Opening'

16 April - 10 May 2014
wed. & thurs. 12-6pm, fri. 12-7pm, sat. 10-5pm
/ Perimeter Books, Melbourne
Opening Reception 6-8pm Wednesday 16 April

'Can opening a page create a space for one's home?'
In exploring the architecture of print media, shadows and reflections captured an absence, where a sense of intimacy
may have been or will be.


View the work produced -> Distancing for Opening

Solo exhibition at Museo Taller Erasto Cortés

'Pensé en ir de alguna manera - Somehow, I thought I'd go'

6 December 2013 - 16 February 2014 /
Galería Fernando Ramírez Osorio, Museo Taller Erasto Cortés /
10:00-17:00 / closed on Mon. / Admission Free

(from the artist statemet)
...We experience “風土/milieu” through both physical movements and conceptual activities, The impressions of a particular locality can be given forms in mapping, wording, picturing or sounding. They are expressed out of our bodies and their “repetition and reproduction can expand a spatiality where a system of representation and language are developed”(Berque, 1986). This enables us to attempt at communicating with others, and making sense of where we are. Our expressions may echo and bounce, overlay and peal, or connect and break. Their trajectory let us wander around and wonder about the “風土/milieu”, and we understand and misunderstand our perception of being. Whether there are sleeping or awakening mountains at the back, talking or begging people on the streets; they all embrace the refractions of life and the shades of death. They breathe, and I sigh, they move me, and I mouth, “Somehow, I thought I’d go”.


View the work produced -> Pensé en ir de alguna manera - Somehow, I thought I'd go

Arquetopia Artist in Residence

23 October - 8 December 2013 /Arquetopia, Puebla

Arquetopia, located in Puebla, Mexico, is a nonprofit foundation promoting Development, social transformation and productivity through artistic, cultural, and educational programs.
The co-director of arquetopia and artist, Francisco Geuvara invited Utako for their artistic program to work with Puebla's local art communities such as the Museo Taller Erasto Cortés.
Her activity in Mexico is supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico.


Research Project at IRO

26 - 30 August 2013 /IRO, Tokyo
(Open to public / 29 - 30 August / 10:00-18:00)

IRO is a space for gallery and design, newly initiated by the Tokyo-based designer, Ryuichi Maeda, and it will officially start this autumn after the renovation of the venue. Ryuichi offered the opportunity for anyone to use the space freely prior to the renovation, and the artist, Utako Shindo, responded to his offer, and going to undertake her research project 'Sphere Sensitive' in the last week of August.
"On this sphere of the earth, there is still a space left that does not have a name. Light and wind coming into the space quietly reveal a trace or a projection of something. For this research project, I will explore the ways to give a shape visually to what is ineffable, what is latent in this space."


View the research report (pdf) -> Sphere Sensitive

BankART Studio Residency

21 May - 21 July/BankArtStudioNYK, Yokohama
(Open Studio Exhibition / 12 -21 July / 11:30-19:00 / Admission Free)

BankArt’s 2013 artist-in-residence program features 37 selected creators. Some of the works made during their two-month stay so far are now on display. Rather than aiming for perfection, the exhibition hopes to portray the lively creative environment and offer the opportunity for interaction with the artists.


View the work produced -> Pretend not to see