Shimon Kamada was born in 1997, Japan
Lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Shimon Kamada was born in Japan and came to the Netherlands for his study. He graduated from the Fine Art department of the HKU in 2020. Strengthened by his Japanese background and Dutch surrealism technique, he integrates particular elements, such as certain superstitions, that might escape recognition from western audiences, or that might therefore evoke very different and unexpected interpretations. This gap opens up the ambiguity of his works.

Throughout his paintings, Kamada fuses recognizable settings from everyday life with fantasy and dreamlike elements, painted with his sensibility. By building his works in different layers, different stories, cultural symbols, and connotations intertwine. The complexity makes Kamada’s paintings full of narrative and association, both for the artist and his audience.

When his works tell a story that belongs to his melancholic, lonely, or embarrassing experience, they provide viewers a sense of nostalgia and sympathy in their narrative space. Looking at his painted sceneries relate to the experience of Deja vu, where things appear so familiar, but the context of time and memory are shaken up. The surrealistic approach leaves mystery, stimulates the curiosity of viewers to make their imagery narratives from their previous experiences. From their various interpretations, viewers give him helping hands to spread a series of fake stories.

Recently the artist started a project of painting on found and used canvasses, letting his paintings and narratives merge with those of anonymous others. By reusing already existing works, he unconsciously collaborates with the previous artist and can create an effect he could not create on his own. The experiment with leaving more of the grounds of canvases visible and open aims a lot of contrasts and references in this series; its collage-like and associative. Kamada continues to find new ways of shaping ambiguous and layered narratives, combining different contexts and adding to the sense that dream and reality might be one and the same.

The usage of reproductions also gave him ideas to reuse images of his old sculpture or video works for painting. Although his works look painted quite differently, they are relevant in the way of recycling old works and recalling decayed memory.




  • 2016-2020 HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht, NL
  • 2018-2019 Academy of Fine Art, Prague, Czech Republic (exchange program)
  • 2015-2016 Japan College of Foreign Languages, Tokyo, Japan


  • 2021 Droomwereld, Galerie Pouloeuff, Naarden, NL
  • 2020Flashbacks of Your Adolescence, EXboot, Utrecht, NL
    ALL INN exhibition, Het HEM, Zaandam, NL
    Best of Graduates 2020, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL
    Exhibition of StartPoint Prize, Prague, Czech Republic
    Exposure, HKU Fine Art 2020, Utrecht, NL
    FOMA Fear Of Missing Art, Broese, Utrecht, NL

Residencies & Awards

  • 2020Winner of the Ron Mandos Residency Award
    Nominee for the StartPoint Prize
    Nominee for the Dooyewaard Stipendium