The movement and flow in Yuki's work comes from a rejection of the still images he learnt to create as a student in Japan where painting and drawing are regarded as the highest form of art. Now living in London, and inspired by the drama of filmmaking, he mixes several contemporary art forms such as graffiti, photography, and performance art.
Yuki has worked as a creative assistant to Damien Hirst for over ten years. An intensely private artist, it is only now that he has decided to share his own personal work.
Artist's Statement: "First I became fascinated by the colours and contrast illuminated by street lights after dark and the silence in a town. It felt like they spoke to me and I wanted to find a way to capture that fascination. The light graffiti that you see in this series was inspired by Francis Bacon: the way in which his art expresses a sense of emptiness and fear, and forces you - the onlooker - to peer at it for any traces of vitality.
From there, I began focusing on the actual performance of tagging. Capturing the activity from a third person viewpoint, tagging “I was here”, allowed me to mix several forms of visual communication, experimenting with methods of presentation to heighten the effects of surrealism, mischief, excitement and anxiety.
An important aspect of this experimentation involves physiograms, which remove evidence of human activity from the image, leaving only an abstract trail of luminosity. This connotes the self-expression of tagging and the surrealistic anxiety of the faint ghost-like blur of a person buried deep beneath the opacity of floodlight. The photos act as evidence of this activity, which then communicate feelings and ideas to the audience. Cross-processing the images afterwards allowed me to create dreamy images that look partly as though they are shot in daytime, like a parallel universe that you don’t see while you dream during sleep."
Read an interview with Yuki Shima here.