DISAPPEARANCES Uses 350 Million-Year-Old Fossils To Comment On
Interconnectedness Of Life Across Time

DISAPPEARANCES – an eternal journey

2 East Fulton Street, 2nd floor, Grand Rapids, MI, USA
21 September – 9 October, 2011
monday – thursday: 12pm – 8pm
friday, saturday: 12pm – 10pm
sunday: 12pm – 6pm

Grand Rapids, MI — Thursday, October 6, Shinji Turner-Yamamoto is tonight, at the ArtPrize Winner’s Announcement Ceremony in DeVos Performance Hall, announced as the winner of the 2011 ARTPRIZE INTERNATIONAL JURIED AWARD. The juror for the 2011 International Award is Nuit Banai, art historian and critic, Tufts University.

The International Juried Award is one of five ArtPrize Juried Awards, each worth $7,000, launched in 2010 and awarded by five internationally recognized jurors, experts in their respective fields, judging separately and determining the best work in five categories. Additional categories and their jurors include: Two-Dimensional Work: Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Three-Dimensional Work: Glenn Harper, Editor-in-Chief, Sculpture Magazine, Time-Based Work: Kathleen Forde, Curator of Time-Based Art at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY; and Use of Urban Space: Reed Kroloff, Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum.

shinji turner-yamamoto – disappearances

The School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor teamed with Site: Lab, a Grand Rapids non-profit that organizes art projects in vacant commercial and industrial buildings, to convert the gutted 2 East Fulton Street at the epicenter of Grand Rapids, into a temporary exhibition space for nine large-scale installation-based works. Encompassing the second floor, DISAPPEARANCES – an eternal journey, Turner-Yamamoto’s installation comprised fossil materials – 400 million year old CORAL collected during a recent artist residency at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, LIMESTONE (fossil rock in which the shells of sea dwellers are cemented in a solid mass, the CONCRETE floor of the exhibition space created from burnt limestone), and GYPSUM (deposits formed by ancient lake and sea water and collected by the artist and SiTE:LAB team from Grand Rapid’s gypsum mine) to comment on the ubiquity of fossil material in our everyday life—from the oil, coal, and gas we use when we drive, heat our homes, or cook. Working in tandem with the rhythm of the natural light engaging the space he created a primordial sea, an artistic ritual exploring a poetic reunion with nature, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all life
across and outside time.

“I’m thrilled to receive recognition for what was an intensely challenging project,” says Turner-Yamamoto. “The unprecedented scale of the space and the incredible ruin of a building inspired my ten-day meditative creation. I felt I was seeing literally the bare bone structure of our contemporary cities.”

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, DC and born in Osaka, Japan, SHINJI TURNER-YAMAMOTO’s site-specific installations worldwide include Ireland, Finland, Italy, Japan, India, Mongolia, and USA. His Global Tree Project is an international art initiative that opens and affirms connections between audiences and the natural world. He studied at the Kyoto City University of Arts, and, sponsored by the Italian government, at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna, where he lived for eleven years. Recent projects are MONGOLIA 360°: Int’l Land Art Biennial; HANGING GARDEN, Holy Cross Church; DISAPPEARANCES, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. He is working with Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest on a forthcoming project with lightning struck trees. A monograph will be published by Damiani in fall 2012. Additional prizes include the Gold Leaf Award, Int’l Society of Arborioculture; UNESCO-ASCHBERG Bursaries for Artists; Pépinières Européennes pour Jeunes Artistes; first prize, Targetti Light Art Collection.

Nuit Banai is an art historian and critic who received her Ph.D. from Columbia University before joining the Department of Visual and Critical Studies at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has been an invited critic at MIT, Massachusetts College of Art + Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Art Institute of Boston, Yale University, and Haifa University in Israel, and has lectured at New York University, The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, The Digital Art Lab for Israeli Art in Holon, l’Institut Nationale d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris, and The Alvar Aalto Academy in Jyväskylä, Finland.

Documentation of DISAPPEARANCES – an eternal journey continues through January 2012 by Tom Wagner / Storming The Castel Pictures for the documentary film in progress “Art is the Prize.” The work will continue to evolve and transform through collaboration with natural elements, including rainwater.

shinji turner-yamamoto – disappearances
* CORAL FOSSILS – courtesy of the Bernheim Arboretum and Reseach Forest –
collected by the artist during an artist-residency.


more information about the artist at:


shinji turner-yamamoto – disappearances

photo credit: Shinji Turner-Yamamoto

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