Japanese artist SHINJI MURAKAMI’s work springboards from the philosophy of Gunpei Yokoi, the famous inventor of Nintendo’s Game Boy, Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology. Withered technology in this context refers to a mature technology that is cheap and well understood. Lateral thinking refers to finding radical new ways of using such technology. Yokoi held that toys and games do not necessarily require cutting edge technology; novel and fun gameplay are more important. This concept is something that has been practiced throughout recent art history. The silkscreen prints of Andy Warhol and the American comic-style expression of Roy Lichtenstein, are born from withered technology. Shinji does not believe that profound human understanding has necessarily caught up to the explosive evolution of modern computer technology (also according to Moore’s Law). The pixelated expressions of 8-bit video games, which are very much nostalgic for those born in 1980s, are also one withered part of this evolutionary process. This pixel that will probably be forgotten in a few years due to the appearance of the Retina Display. Shinji interrogates lateral thinking of this pixel.
In 2011, Shinji was named one of 100 artists to watch by Modern Painters and has since hung two museum shows and several solo exhibitions. His second solo show with the gallery was in January 2016 and for the past several years, his works have shown also with Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York.