CNJPUS TEXT is the latest work from Japanese artist Ryo Shimizu. The architect-come-artist assembled a story in Roman letters created from the strokes of Chinese kanji characters. Through this creation of a “substitute alphabet”, the kanji elements that were not restructured into Roman characters were left scattered on the floor.
The result is a visually arresting – and poetic – work that can be thought of all at once as art, installation, literature and a reflection on how contemporary cultures interact. Shimizu emphasises the beauty found in typography, and one is aware in a very tangible way of the laborious process of working that created this artwork. This communicates in a human way with the viewer, resulting a (rare) intimate relationship with such a large work.
“I have particular interest in the customs and practices of Japanese people, the relationship between history and modern society, and between the self and others,” says Shimizu of his practice.