Shimpei Shimokawa

『未見の大陸 Unknown Continents』


We need new maps. We need to get rid of borders drawn with a ruler, remove even "names" like Palestine or Syria, and have the silence of the great deserts as the empty margins of our imagination. Connecting points, connecting lines, connecting spaces, and connecting dimensions, Trans Orient will continue to spring up in all places as a multidimensional "open space" unbound in any way by geographical land. As we head toward this writhing "open space", we have to keep talking or remain silent. In this paradoxical rift between revealing and hiding, the forefront of the world is always right before our eyes. How can we talk about or even view this world, and ourselves? This never-ending question is nothing other than a revelation of the degradation and salvation imposed on humans. The endless fertile plain of light quietly opens and is always waiting. We have to read it time and time again - this world.


私たちには新しい地図が必要である。定規によって引かれた国境線もなく、「パレスチナ」や「シリア」といった“名”すら剥落した、想像力の余白地帯としての大いなる砂漠の沈黙が必要なのだ。点と点をつなぎ、線と線をつなぎ、空間と空間をつなぎ、次元と次元をつなぎ合わせ、「トランスオリエント」は決して地理的な大地に囚われない多次元的な<空地>として、あらゆる場を貫いて湧出し続けるだろう。この潜勢力が蠢く<空地>に向けて、われわれは語り、あるいは沈黙し続けなければならない。この露現と隠匿のパラドクシカルな裂目において、世界の最前線は常にわれわれの眼前にある。いかに語りうるのか。あるいはいかに眼差しうるのか、この世界を、そしてわれわれ自身を。この終わりなき問いこそ、人間に科せられた堕落と救済の啓示に他ならない。無限の光の沃野はその訪れを静かに開き、待ち続けている。われわれは何度でも読まなければならない。この世界を。(2016「Neo Orientalism」)

"Geography of the Far North"

On an arctic night, with the sky covered in heavy gray clouds, the light from the "Far North" weakly fills the land. The outlines of objects are faintly enveloped in light that has been reduced to the extreme. It neither divides things into light and shadow like the sun in a clear sky, nor is it a "white-out" that obliterates the difference between everything like "the great noon". The ambiguous middle ground where light and shadow are muddy is the place (topos) of the "midnight sun". In that hazy light, the cycle of creation (being) and annihilation (nothingness) is found in each and every moment. All boundaries lose their rigidity and become fleeting. It is probably by having this landscape-like awareness of "viewing something come into being from nothing" that gives rise to the Geography of the Far North. It is necessary to invent a new "optical device" in this "gap" between the West and the East. But it cannot and probably should not be given a name, because it is a light that is "not of any place" and has "god speed" so that it escapes at the moment it is named. All we can do is quietly transcribe those traces of trickling light, while being dazzled in the nameless optical vortex that overflows from the gap.