When I visited the monkey mountain in Kyoto in 1992 I heard an interesting story. In 1972 a group of Japanese snow monkeys were brought from the mountains of Kyoto to a Texas desert.
The first year, their numbers reduced dramatically. They didn’t know how to live in the desert with cactus, cougars or rattlesnakes. But in the second year their population grew. Do monkeys adapt to new environments faster than people do? I wanted to go and meet them someday.
In 2016 I finally visited them in Texas. I saw that they looked a bit Americanized, somehow. They are a bit bigger, and started to eat cactus. Now they know how to deal with the cougars and rattlesnakes. They have a new language to alert each other.
When I spent a few days with them under the Texan sun, I decided to make a mountain with ice for them. I filled a car with bags of ice. And I wondered, do they remember snow mountains?
SHIMABUKU‘s (b. 1969, Kobe, Japan) The Snow Monkeys of Texas: Do snow monkeys remember snow mountains? (2016, 20min) was produced for his first exhibition in the United States, The Snow Monkeys of Texas at Freedman Fitzpatrick. The work is currently on-view in „Arte Viva Arte“ at the 57th Venice Biennale, and at and at Off Vendome as part of Condo New York.