Son of a tanka poet (a form of traditional Japanese poetry), Shinohara was expound on different art forms from a very early age. His parents quickly instilled in him the love of the late 19th century French painting. He enter quite naturally into the Tokyo University of the Arts, but, disappointed by the overly academic teaching, left it to switch to other sources, such as the work of photographer Tomatsu Shomei. In 1960, he founded with several other Japanese artists (Yoshimura, Akasegawa, Arakawa, Kazakura, etc.) the group of Neo Dadaism Organizers (NDO), Japanese branch of the famous Dada movement, and whose action focuses on the holding of performances and happenings in public places. From that point, Shinohara developed several practices that will characterize his activity for the years to come: sculptures made of litter, paintings with monumental dimensions (including The largest self-portrait in the world), and Boxing Paintings where the artist leaves imprints of his fists on the canvas. While wearing an Iroquois Mohawk, the Japanese artist initiates a quest to create a violent, irreverent and concrete art, far from the informal concerns of conceptual groups which were then emerging. He reaches a wide fame with the latter, in collaboration with Fukuyama Masaharu, for the advertising clip of a sports drink. In 2007, he received the Mainichi Art Prize. In 2012, the first retrospective exhibition of his work abroad at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, at the New Paltz of New York State University.
In the United States, Shinohara begins the Oiran series, continuing the Japanese tradition of geishas painting, but where the courtesans are disfigured, attacked by hordes of cowboys, Indians and monsters, in a similar style of the Edo period (1606-1848), where vitality and expressiveness take precedence over beauty, thanks to the use of plastic materials and fluorescent paints. From the 1970s, he began the Motorcycles series, where he sculpted huge, colorful and complex motorcycles, mixing American myth and Japanese esthetics. Over the last few months, Shinohara has taken over Boxing Paintings.
"I just loved American art. In the 1960s, in the heyday of pop art, I read everything I could find on the subject in art magazines. It turned me on like crazy, I was like "me too, that's what I want to do! ". That’s how I decided to go to New York. But when my one-year grant ran out, I had neither money or plunger. But the art demon pulled me by the neck, so I put all my strength into the battle and went for it. "
The artworks, mostly monumental, of the artist, are visible in the collections of the largest museums; notably at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa, New-York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met, New-York), the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo, Japan), the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (Japan).
A photo of William Klein capturing Shinohara's performance in one of his Boxing Paintings is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, US).
SOLO & GROUP SHOW
MOMA, Museum of Modern Art New York City. TOKYO, 1955-1970 A New Avant-Garde.
Oiran Goes to the Wild West, PG Contemporary, Houston, TX
Houston Fine Art Fair with PG Contemporary Gallery
Samuel Dorsky Museum – SHINOHARA POPS, The Avant-Garde Road Tokyo / New York.
White Box, Rauschenberg and Shinohara – Reconstruction an encounter
hpgrp Gallery, Love is a roar, Ushio Shinohara and Noriko Shinohara
Seattle Art Museum, Target Practice: Painting under attack 1949-78.
Gyu and Chu: Ushio Shinohara and Gyu Chu. Toyota: Municipal Museum of Art
Getty Research Institute, Art, Anti -Art, Non Art: Experimentation in the public sphere in PostWar JApan, 1950-1970
Ushio Shinohara: Ushio in Kagoshima. Kirishima: Kirishima Open- Air Museum of Art
Shinohara Ushio: Boxing paintings and motorcycle sculptures.
Kamakura and Hayama: The Musrum of Modern Art
Ushio Shinohara. Hiroshima: Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art
Shinohara. New York: Japan House Gallery
Doll Festival/Onna no matsuri. Tokyo: Tokyo Gallery
Institut d'Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, FR