[News]Nobuhiro Shimura Pit Pony Project


Pit Pony Project – Creation Support Project –

With works such as “Mishima Cattle” exhibited at the Roppongi Crossing and “Nostalgia, Amnesia” shown at the DOMANI: the Art of Tomorrow exhibit, Shimura has been investigating new forms of expression that traverse life histories, cultural histories, and political histories, by employing film and documentary methods while approaching a land or region’s history through a sociological lens and field work.

The theme of the next project will be “horses,” and approximating two years of creation from research, interviews, filming, and editing, the estimated time of creation is in 2021.

A project has been established in order to support funds that will be necessary for creation. Return gifts and a special screening will be prepared at the time of completion of the project. Besides, the artist will be sending a production process journal and newsletter.

Pit Pony Project:
Special Thanks: E&K Associates

=== Message from Nobuhiro Shimura ===
“Pit pony”

I had decided earlier on that I would like to create a work about horses, after working with sheep.

It all started when I coincidentally learnt about the term “pit pony.”
Pit ponies refer to mining horses. Mining horses existed mainly in Britain, but also elsewhere in Europe, the United States, and Japan, from the start of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, to the end of the mining industry in the 20th century. This history was a shock to me, as I did not know that there were animals in forced labor in mines.

I began to think that it was an interesting topic to examine the relationship between humans and animals after I found out that the horses were used to replace women and children, and even that there were horses that were born and lived their entire lives underground without even once being exposed to the sun. More than anything, I did not know much about coal mines themselves, so it appears that the time has arrived to confront coal as an energy source that supported lives of previous periods.

Until now I have investigated cows and sheep as principle topics by looking through the framing of livestock, but the object of my interest was in the transition in energy sources for humans. In a way, it seems natural to establish horses and coal mines as the subject of my next work. Of course, the concept of “labor” and not just energy, will also be a significant concept.

In such darkness, what was the pit pony burdened with?

By looking at mining horses from the current 21st century, I wonder where it will lead me. For now I believe that I will have to go to Northern England, and Hitachi in Ibaraki prefecture to investigate. This will be the 3rd work as part of the animal series that has become my life’s work in recent years, and it has again become a project that I cannot realize just by myself.

Your support will be essential to bring this project to fruition.
Please help support the creation of my next work.