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Boxing Painting or Action Painting - Seeing and Hearing the SPLAT!

Updated on June 11, 2012


Do you, or someone you know, have too much energy for your, or their, own good? Do you or someone you know have aggressive tendencies or issues dealing with anger? What if you could really punch something, say a wall, and just like in the cartoons be able to see and hear the SPLAT? This is possible through a very innovative and creative method of action painting called Boxing Painting.

Never heard of it? It’s time to change that. Let me introduce you to Ushio Shinohara, a Japanese man born in Tokyo in 1932. At this particular time in Japanese history, many of the youth in the country were challenging the cultural norms of their society. Additionally, many young artists were experimenting with various art forms. Enter Ushio Shinohara.

His performances have taken him to new heights!
His performances have taken him to new heights! | Source
The absorbent material on the boxing glove is visible in this picture.
The absorbent material on the boxing glove is visible in this picture. | Source

In 1960, he was a co-founder of the Neo Dada movement. This movement is most easily explained by the definition provided at dictionary.com: “a minor art movement chiefly of the 1960s reviving some of the objectives of dada but placing emphasis on the importance of the work of art produced rather than on the concept generating the work.”

Okay. So now let’s look at the definition of “dada” also at dictionary.com: “the style and techniques of a group of artists, writers, etc., of the early 20th century who exploited accidental and incongruous effects in their work and who programmatically challenged established canons of art, thought, morality, etc.”

From these two definitions we can see that Shinohara’s interesting approach to the creation of paintings challenged both artistic and cultural beliefs. He is considered to be a prominent figure in the international development of contemporary art.

Shinohara created the “Boxing Painting” technique late in the 1950’s when he was in his mid-twenties. His performances and the paintings created during these performances communicate intensity, action and chaos to his audiences. Much like a SPLAT! does in the comics. It does seem like an interesting combination of things to try to communicate to an audience through the venue of painting, but his performances deliver a healthy one-two punch everytime.

Ushio Shinohara will often have his head shaved into a mohawk as part of his performance.
Ushio Shinohara will often have his head shaved into a mohawk as part of his performance. | Source

Boxing painting entails the dipping of boxing gloves into paint or ink and then attacking, otherwise known as boxing, the paper or canvas. The ensuing “splats” create his unusual works of art.

But before donning a pair of gloves, Shinohara will often share with his audience the history of the piece of art he will be creating, and about his relationship to action painting.

Shinohara’s assistant will ritualistically shave his head into a Mohawk, something he does at every “Boxing Painting” performance.

His assistant will then help Shinohara don his first pair of gloves which have an absorbent material on the end of them to soak up the paint. He then dips the gloves into the color of his choice and attacks his canvas with a literal explosion of color. He wears a different pair of gloves for each color.

Source

When his masterpiece is completed (in less than 10 minutes) he formally bows to the audience.


Ushio Shinohara’s art work can be found in many museums’ permanent collections. Some of them include: Tokyo Metropolitan Museum; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Nagaoka; Toyota City Museum; National Museum of Art, Osaka; and the Yokohama Museum.


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Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)


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The battle between man and canvas is finished! This is what remains.
The battle between man and canvas is finished! This is what remains. | Source

Comments: "Boxing Painting or Action Painting - Seeing and Hearing the SPLAT!"

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    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      molometer - I have been thinking about getting a pair of boxing gloves myself lately. Thanks so much for your wonderful visit!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This looks like a great way to get rid of those minor frustrations in life. :)

      Nice work Cindy voted up, interesting and useful.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      RealHousewife - maybe you could paint the neighborhood fence for free! It could be fun! Hmmmm! Be sure to send pictures!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Sweet homestead! I love this - oh and yeah I sure do have some energy I could expend doing this....wonder if the neighbors would mind if I re-painted the house?? Hmmm...! Lol

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      alocsin - Thanks so much for stopping by. I assume as long as you have something large enough to act as a canvas and gloves and paint, you can express yourself freely ... an example of being violently creative!

      Thanks so much for the votes and for sharing!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      What an interesting method of art, well within the range of the average person. Assuming you can throw a punch, of course. Voting this Up and Interesting. Thanks for SHARING.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      sen.sush23 - I believe it could be a wonderful stress relieving technique. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us.

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 

      6 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Homesteadbound, I found this hub awesome simply for the novelty of the idea. Today, a few minutes back I was reading this Hub by Justateacher - 'It happened in my neighborhood' on gang war and the question, what can we do? I have given lectures in my managerial capacity to coworkers and Managers, on stress and relieving methods. Both issues can be so well addressed with activities like this. Wonderful and thanks once more for a novel concept.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      J.S.Matthew - Coming from you that is high praise. I'm glad I was able to introduce you to something new. And thanks for the votes!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day! This is really cool! I have never heard of this. If my son saw this he would want to try it. Thanks for sharing something new! Great job. Voting Up and Sharing!

      JSMatthew~

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Lisa Kramer - Let's get out our dancing feet and go for it, that sounds like fun! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Kramer profile image

      Lisa Kramer 

      7 years ago from Auburn, MA

      This seems fun, fabulous, and fascinating. Not that I will be throwing punches at any walls in the near future, but I love the idea of just letting go and allowing the art to come out while engaging your whole body. Too often we limit ourselves by over-thinking things. This makes me want to get out some paint along with a big sheet, and dance on it.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      prairieprincess - thanks for the congrats! It could definitely be interesting teaching some 16 year old boys this art form. Thanks for stopping by!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Homestead, congratulations on your "hub of the day" recognition! What an interesting form of art. I can think of some kids I taught that could have used something like this. I think I might incorporate this into my art classes if I ever teach it again. Particularly useful for sixteen year old boys! Take care.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Cloverleaf - thanks. I sure was surprised, albeit pleasantly! Thanks!

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Wow - featured in the newsletter AND hub of the day!!! Well done, you really deserve it!!!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      missolive - Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats! It does look like it could be fun ... as long as I didn't have to do the clean-up.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      This looks like sooooo much fun! What a great hub!

      Congrats on the Hub of the Day!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      ktrapp - When I saw it I thought it was indeed unusual. I am happy to be able to introduce you to it. Thanks for the congrats! and thanks for your kind words. Being a part of hubpages has been a true blessing for me.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      What a unique form of art. I have never heard of it before so I am glad you chose to write about it for all of us to see.

      Congratulations on hub of the day. I have been reading many of your hubs, comments and forum posts over the last few weeks and you are very deserving of the "one-two punch of the very best kind" from HubPages, as you put it.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      SJmorningsun25 and RTalloni - Thanks for stopping by. Your well wishing is very much appreciated!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Happy Hub of the Day to you! :)

    • profile image

      SJmorningsun25 

      7 years ago

      Congrats on the Hub of the Day! So interesting.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      ScubaGirl - It does sound like alot of fun, and a good way to relieve stress. By the way the paint is running in this technique you can definitely tell he is not using oils. Thanks for visiting!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      amazingdomains, twentyfive, pioneerio, Arlynne, Aeron Wright, Textured Ideas, and ComfortB - A big thanks to all of you for stopping by and reading about boxing painting.

      Arlynne - Thank you for sharing more about something very similar to this. I can't imagine buying a TV with the intent of destroying it!

      ComfortB - I like the idea of giving them gloves and white paint. You could really be onto something here!

      And thank you to HubPages for selecting this hub as hub of the day. WOW! You certainly delivered me a one-two punch of the very best kind. I appreciate the honor.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 

      7 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      This is no doubt the answer to helping those with anger issues and destructive behaviors.

      Let's give those juvenile delinquents something they can do and really have fun doing. Give them a pair of gloves with white paint and send them to those graffiti battered cities to do some clean-up.

      Great hub - homesteadbound! Voted Up!

    • profile image

      Textured Ideas 

      7 years ago

      Congratulations on being hub of the day! What an interesting way to get some exercise and have some fun =) Thanks for sharing.

    • Aeron Wright profile image

      Aeron Wright 

      7 years ago

      Wow, this is pretty cool! I like the creativity of this art of painting. Thumb up!

    • Arlynne profile image

      Arlynne 

      7 years ago from Florida, USA

      I've seen like this in the Philippines. It's called "taksyapo" wherein you will buy an item and throw it in the wall with writings that you say when you're angry. I saw one time, a man bought a tv in the "taksyapo" venue, well, you can buy the items in the venue. They turned on the TV and it is still in a good condition and functions very well. He picked it up and threw in the wall while saying his anger...and that's it. People always finds a way to release their anger but this time, commercially. LOL! =D

    • pioneerio profile image

      Abeer Gh 

      7 years ago from UK

      very nice and colorful post!

    • twentyfive profile image

      twentyfive 

      7 years ago

      Gotta try that style :) Awesome and so creative!

    • amazingdomains profile image

      amazingdomains 

      7 years ago from London

      Interesting Hub! I really like it, Voted Up.

    • profile image

      ScubaGirl 

      7 years ago

      sounds like a blast! I paint with oils,using brushes, but this sounds like much more fun!!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Cloverleaf - I just happened across this artist when I was doing research on a different hub and thought that it was really unusual. Thanks on the congrats and for stopping by!

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 

      7 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi homesteadbound, this is almost like paintballing for artists - what a great way to relieve stress, I love it! Congratulations on having your hub selected to be featured in this week's newsletter :-)

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      PsychManTx - all of that and ... anger never looked so good! Sounds like a good idea to me. Let's do it! Thanks for stopping by!

    • PsychManTx profile image

      PsychManTx 

      7 years ago from Houston Texas

      Stress...Anger...Irritability...Bad Temper...Bad Mood...and a new, really cool outlet that gives relief; you feel better (hopefully); and you have this awesome painted canvas of your anger! I say incorporate into all anger mgmt programs post haste!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I would be really cool to one of his performance, wouldn't it! It was my pleasure to make the introductions! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This is so cool!! I've never heard of Shinohara, but would absolutely love to see his work someday- or better yet, a live performance! Thanks so much for introducing me to this fascinating artist!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for stopping by blog8withJ

    • profile image

      blog8withJ 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting topic. Thanks for visiting my page!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      RTalloni - I bet it would be a neat stress reliever and maybe you could sell them and earn some extra money. When that happens, let them know you heard it here! Thanks for stopping by!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Hmmm, there's been a little stress lately, wonder if this creative outlet would help! ;)

      Neat concept--thanks for sharing this with us!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I'm with you, rosettaartist1. I'm not into hitting things. And the performance painting looked like alot more fun!

    • rosettaartist1 profile image

      Rosetta Ceesay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hmmmm! Don't think I will take up punching my walls just yet but sure is interesting.

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