Yoko Shimizu uses her space-filling lab installation to give insights into the wonders of nature. Photosynthetically printed plants and colourful crystal worlds hold out the promise of a long, joint future of art and science.
Scientific principles are of timeless beauty and a source of endless inspiration: impassioned by man-made art, it is easy to overlook the fact that nature works tirelessly on its own artworks. With her “Biodesign Lab” Yoko Shimizu opens our eyes to the common features of art and science. The Tokyo-based artist and biochemist analyses scientific and natural phenomena and develops new methods of uniting the two – only seemingly contradictory – approaches to the world in harmony.
For steirischer herbst, Shimizu is setting up her laboratory in the festival centre, inviting visitors to attend three performative demonstrations: in the exhibition space she shows how richly coloured landscapes can grow out of natural crystals – and then perish again. She develops materials and mechanical components from biocellulose. And with the aid of a combination of photosynthesis and photography the artist prints high-resolution images on plant leaves. You can bring along your own plants and experiment with them within this chemical artwork.
With her fusion of art and natural science, Yoko Shimizu not only reveals the aesthetic potential of natural processes, she also demonstrates that the boundaries of technological progress, as well as of artistic expression, are far from exhausted on our planet.
By and with Yoko Shimizu
Yoko Shimizu (JP)
Yoko Shimizu, born in Kyoto, lives and works as a visual artist and biochemist in Tokyo. Having grown up in the United States, Shimizu was inspired by the New York art scene to mingle elements of science and art. Since studying biology and chemistry at the University of Kobe, she operates in the realm between design and nature, exhibition space and lab setting with her installations. Shimizu has presented the results of these prize-winning forays between different genres in several solo and group exhibitions – including at Ars Electronica in Linz – and will also be featuring for the first time at steirischer herbst in 2017 in the guise of her “BioDesign Lab”.