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Imura Art Gallery is pleased to present "Rabbit," a retrospective for artist Masaharu Sato.

Masaharu Sato was born in Oita, Japan in 1973. After obtaining an MFA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1999, he moved to Germany in 2000, living and working in Düsseldorf for ten years. Following his return to Japan he exhibited prolifically, participating in many exhibitions around the world. Sato's continued potential was clear, but his life came to an end in March 2019 at the age of 45 after a long battle with cancer.

Sato's works establish a unique world view by using digital pen tools to trace over objects in photographs or video that he has taken of everyday scenes. The drawn elements feel slightly odd as a result of slight differences from the original lens-based images, which produces a sense of shifting between fact and fiction. The world captured by Sato's eye at first seems to be composed of everyday scenes with nothing special about them, but it offers new perceptions to viewers as they are drawn into the interstices between reality and fabrication.

As an opportunity to look back at and consider Sato's oeuvre, this exhibition presents two two-dimensional works and five video works produced in the last ten years.

Imura art gallery is pleased to announce "SHIN/EN," a solo exhibition by artist Jumpei Ueda, who explores the potential of Japanese yakimono ceramics in art through diverse forms of artistic expression.

Questioning the cultural and historical assumptions that inform conventional yakimono, as well as the concept, decoration, functionality, and uses of vessels (utsuwa), Ueda's perspective leads to the creation of art that focuses on how these are related to one another.

The artist won the Gotoh Cultural Award for best new talent in 2010, taking up a residency in Mexico the same year, arranged by the Gotoh Memorial Foundation (now The Tokyu Foundation). This exhibition consists mainly of works that Ueda included in a presentation of the fruits of his study in Mexico at Yokohama Civic Art Gallery in January 2019, with the support of the foundation.

Ueda explains that, during his research, contact with archaeological artifacts that demonstrated the climate, culture, and ancient civilizations of Mexico made him think about the changes that have taken place within the Japanese yakimono tradition that has taken form and been passed down over the centuries, and about the connections between civilization, technology, and art.

Noticing a quadrangle in the shape that was formed by the surface of water in his hands after scooping up some water, Ueda focused on the quadrilateral pattern as a way of grasping the links between human activity from primordial times to the present. He has since incorporated such patterns as elements in his art.

A major change that occurred after this residency was the addition of brick, tile, and fine ceramics*1 as materials in his art, in addition to the conventional ceramic materials he had used up to that point. He selected brick, the oldest architectural material in the world; fine ceramics, the latest technology in the history of yakimono; and tiles (Awaji tiles*2), which developed and continue to evolve under the influence of the Japanese climate. These materials brought their individual cultural backgrounds and physical properties to his work, providing textures and coloring that enable unique forms of artistic expression.

The exhibition space at imura art gallery, which has a characteristic brick floor, allows the viewer to notice the overlap between yakimono as art and yakimono functioning in modern life, as well as the overlap between the rich coloring of the art and the exhibition space.

Employing this diversity of yakimono, the exhibition attempts to provide a visualization of human activity--from the initial discovery of laws and principles to the present day--and of the relationship between activity, matter, and time, creating a coherent experience for viewers.


*1 Fine ceramics
Fine ceramics are part of the category of ceramics that includes glass and conventional ceramics such as porcelain and earthenware. They use highly refined materials and are manufactured to precise specifications to meet advanced performance and functionality requirements. Fine ceramics are widely used for components in automobiles, smartphones, and other products.

*2 Awaji tiles
One of the three main types of tiles in Japan, Awaji tiles are manufactured on Awaji Island in Hyogo Prefecture. They are made from high-quality clay unique to Awaji Island, and consist mainly of ibushi gawara (smoked tiles), which are smoked during manufacture so as to form a layer of carbon on their surface. They are known for their beautiful, fine-grained finish.

Imura art gallery is pleased to announce an autumn exhibition featuring the work of nihonga painter Natsunosuke Mise and ceramic artist Yui Tsujimura.

Both artists were born in Nara and belong to the same generation. Employing different media--painting and pottery--they both incorporate the unpredictability of nature as a key element in their work.


Mise makes full use of nihonga materials in paintings that convey the nature of Japan through indistinct yet dynamic compositions, into which he incorporates his own memories and modern motifs in intricate detail. "As I create each work, I am keenly aware that it will eventually return to the earth," he explains. One of his techniques is to mix copper powder into the medium and cover the painting with soil to age it, giving the work a patina with luster and colors that resemble a potter's glaze.


In contrast, Yui Tsujimura's pottery always has a natural ash glaze, which is produced in the kiln through chemical reactions between ash and clay. The combination of the blue-green glassy glaze and the ash that attaches to the surface of the pottery produces a landscape that no hand could paint. Fresh from the kiln, his ceramics seem to be melting--like sculptures, they brim with life as if they were living creatures.


Mise describes his art as occupying a place somewhere between nature and humanity. Tsujimura feels that producing pottery is a matter of him creating its form, and then patiently waiting for the natural finish provided by the clay and the fire. The two artists may use different media, but their underlying approaches have much in common.


Mise's new works in this exhibition, which were shown in a solo exhibition at Ohara Museum of Art's Yurinso villa in October, are an homage to Edo Period landscape painter Uragami Gyokudo.


Taken together, the works of Natsunosuke Mise and Yui Tsujimura communicate their unceasing efforts to make nature an integral part of their art.

Imura art gallery is pleased to announce "Formation from disappearance," a solo exhibition by Yoshimi Miyamoto that presents achievements from an international residency made possible by winning the Gotoh Cultural Award for best new talent.

Yoshimi Miyamoto explores light and shade in painting, depicting on fine cotton canvas a monotone world using 'a black that is not black' that she creates by mixing watercolors of various different colors. By using 'white' to achieve meticulous, stoic highlighting, as if manipulating light itself, she produces amazingly polished black-and-white paintings.

Miyamoto was able to join an artist-in-residence program in the Netherlands as a result of receiving the Gotoh Cultural Award. She explores the theme of light and shade in the context of painting, employing photography and other optical techniques in an attempt to discover a present-day substitute for the Dutch light seen in seventeenth century Dutch paintings.

Five new works include a major work in which the artist achieves sculpture-like effects of light and shade by applying white paint directly onto the actual vegetation to be depicted. They also include a painting based on a sculpture that left a deep impression on the artist during her time in the Netherlands.

On the first day of the exhibition, the artist will be signing copies of Miyamoto Yoshimi Sakuhinshu ("Yoshimi Miyamoto"), a collection of her works that is published in conjunction with the opening.

Imura Art Gallery Kyoto presents "Soshaku suru Kashoku II - Digesting decoration II", a solo exhibition by Satoshi Someya.

"Kashoku" is a Japanese lacquerware craft term which generally means to add decoration using various techniques such as "Maki-e" (decoration technique in which gold or silver powder is sprinkled sill-wet lacquer). Someya says "Kashoku" for him is to fill in the margin between materials and techniques.

Up until recently, Someya worked on groundwork called "Tai" which had prominently organic curves of animals and humans. Using traditional techniques such as Maki-e, Raden (to inlay mother of pearl or shell on lacquer), and Chinkin (to press gold powder or gold foil into an incised pattern on lacquer), he put pop design on his "Tai". His expression through "Kashoku" was also an act of expressing his own memory, daily living, and images. Now he sees layering lacquer is also a part of "Kashoku" and takes a different approach in doing so. He even integrates naturally occurring patterns into the design. He sees "Kashoku" as a more comprehensive act of decorating which ranges from drawing patterns to decorating, not just certain techniques. With that in mind, he continues to explore "Kashoku".

There will be eight of his new works on display in addition to the works previously displayed at Imura Art Gallery in Tokyo in July. This is his fourth solo exhibition at Imura Art Gallery Kyoto. We hope you enjoy the show.

To search for authentic motifs.
To create groundwork ("Tai") to decorate.
To take "Arimono" (existing materials) as "Tai" and to express their decoration
"Kashoku" for me is an act of filling in the margin between materials and techniques.

Satoshi Someya

Exchange of energy between people is an important concept in Sangsun BAE's works. she  discovered the invisible and amorphous "Aura" in the energy between people that is constantly changing its vector and force.

Unlike the sharp, ripping lines we see more in western arts, BAE's elegant lines are more Oriental and express the merging of the internal and external worlds.
Simple and refined lines she creates without relying on the effects of color combinations or innovative approach take us back to the true essence of basic drawings.

In her new works for this exhibition, rings drawn on jet black velvet material float and overwrap, as though trapping us in the world of perpetual intertwining (Over & Over).

Human interactions are becoming less and less close in the modern society. But BAE's art works remind us the value and revitalizing energy that "interactions with others" can bring. We hope that you can visit "Over & Over" and enjoy BAE's new works.

≪Kyoto Art Center Artists in Studios program≫

Imura art gallery Kyoto is pleased to announce the solo exhibition, "SAKUTEI", featuring Yu Hanabusa.

Since 2000 and for about ten years, Yu Hanabusa had created her works in between Thailand and Japan but from 2010, she has been engaged in her creative activities in Kyoto. She creates colorful oil paintings with thick matière using the image of "flower offerings" or different legends of Thailand as her motif. 

The theme for her up-coming exhibition is 'SAKUTEI' and in these works especially her process is constitutive of the piece itself. First, she covers stone lanterns with flowers and leaves. Then, by putting the lanterns back in the landscape, she creates a new image, her own "garden". Through her art, one can discern human knowledge, creativity and interaction with the nature. These gardens filled by these elements constitute a view on the Japanese conception of the nature.

By covering stone lanterns and stone monuments, that are inorganic and cold but mysterious and symbolic in the nature, with completely opposed materials, Hanabusa recreates a scene that is familiar but yet surrounded by a unique atmosphere.

At this exhibition, 7 oil paintings, including the watercolor Hanabusa created during her trip to India for the "Art Across Asia" exhibition in 2012, will be exhibited. We are looking forward to have you at Yu Hanabusa's solo exhibition at our Kyoto gallery.

"Using flowers and leaves, I recreate mysteriously structured stone lanterns, to place them in the landscape again.  Stone lanterns turn towns, rivers and mountains into a garden."

Yu Hanabusa

imura art gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Taro Yamamoto, an artist whose creation is in the 'Nippon-ga''s vein. Yamamoto's works are revolutionizing Nippon-ga. His main aim is to restructure the intellection of traditional Japanese painting with an actual viewpoint and a modern multi-layered paint and to depict, the chaotic Japanese society, with humor and affection.

In this exhibition will be presented, the Nijyuushi-sekki series or the "24 divisions of the solar year's" series, based on the traditional Japanese calendar. Mr. Koyama, who is well known as TV script writer, has commissioned Taro Yamamoto to produce this series and also to design the name card of the staff of "Shimogamo Saryo", the traditional Japanese restaurant Mr. Koyama is the head of. Furthermore, Yamamoto has been involved in many projects in relation with Kumamoto (Mr. Koyama's hometown). Mainly, he was engaged in the creation of "KUMAMON", the most popular official mascot character of Kumamoto prefecture. Yamamoto is also from Kumamoto, it is surely thanks to this, that for this exhibition, the collaboration was re-actualized.

Nijyushi-sekki refers to the way people of former days have separated the four seasons to 24 divisions: dividing spring, summer, autumn and winter into six sections each. This calendar, with the 24 divisions, have been used to organize Japanese people's livelihood. Each division has a name and each event that commemorates the change of section is still celebrated nowadays. While looking at the paintings, a strong feeling surface: in Japan, there's really a special consideration regarding each seasons.

It is in the pure 'Nippon-ga' style, that the old calendar has been restructured by Yamamoto's original viewpoint. In this exhibition, all 24 seasons, including 6 new works that haven't been presented in the Kyoto's previous exhibition, are displayed. They express both the unchanged beauty of the four seasons and the immutable sight of Japan.

imura art gallery kyoto is pleased to announce the solo exhibition, for the first time in five years, of the wood carving artist, Fumio Yamazaki.

His works of art are made of one piece of camphor tree's wood with the technique called "Ichiboku-zukuri" (to dod wood sculpture on one same piece of a tree), the colors are added in a second time. The series "Silent Neighbor", that he has started in 2006, is based on anthropomorphized creatures that got the body of a child and the head of a domestic animal, with lonely and sorrowful eyes. These figures create an inimitable presence, making the viewer feels a sense of peace and of calm but in a slightly warp and imbalance atmosphere.

The artist has said: "It can be possible, that the reason of the variant form of my work, is that I would like to answer in the affirmative through my projecting as a producer myself. Onto vagueness of the existence, I want to make a form which is certain."

The works that he has spent much time on and has produced while facing the wood and himself, let us feel some kind of signs. The viewers are softly enfold by a distinct fragrance of camphor tree and the smooth and beautiful feel of the wood's carved surface.

Yamazaki has attracted people's attention during the exhibition "ZIPANGU", that took place in Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Osaka Takashimaya, Kyoto Takashimaya, The Niigata Bandaijima Art Museum and in Akita Museum of Modern Art. We hope you will feel something from his works too, standing quietly in front of them, in a prevailing atmosphere.

This exhibition is realized in collaboration with Mr. Kundo Koyama who is certainly one of the most active and well-known TV script writers in Japan.

Japan is a beautiful country through all seasons and shows different features on each of them. People of former days separated the transient time into 24 divisions, giving a name to them, relishing each period and using the name of each division in their daily life. This division is called "Nijuu Shi Sekki" (24 seasons). Furthermore, as annual events developed along the seasons, it is not too much to say that Japanese people have no season without seasonal festivals.

Mr. Koyama has a special fondness and understanding of Japanese culture, especially the culture of Kyoto. He commissioned Yamamoto to produce the series "Nijuu Shi Sekki" based on the subject of the sensitivities that, even today, Japanese people have toward the delicate changings of climate. Thanks to Mr. Koyama's strong feelings for Kumamoto, his hometown, Taro Yamamoto has been involved in many projects in relation to Kumamoto. For instance, he was engaged in the invention of "KUMAMON", the most popular official mascot character of Kumamoto prefecture. Yamamoto is also originally from Kumamoto. In the wake of it, this project came into being. This exhibition will showcase 18 works out of 24 from the series, and all 24 works adding other 6 works will be exhibited at imura art gallery Tokyo this autumn (Exhibition slated on 21 September, Sat - 20 October, Sun). This series was also chosen for the name card design of Shimogamo Saryo's staff. Shimogamo Saryo is the traditional Japanese restaurant, Mr. Koyama is the head and producer of, it has been in operation since 1856.

In Japan, numerous works have been created on the subject of seasons and annual events in the history. Taking over this heritage, Taro Yamamoto, Nippon-ga painter of the Heisei period, presents the expressive Japanese seasons with his unique perspective.

Talk show and opening reception with Mr. Kundo Koyama will be held on 7/15. We are looking forward to welcome you at the gallery.

"Takahashi Collection - Mindfulness!"
Period : Fri 12th July - Sun 1st September, 2013
Venue : Kirishima Open-air Museum, Kagoshima

Imura art gallery, kyoto is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Yu Kiwanami entitled "Appetite for painting".

Kiwanami's work, characterized by a clear construction with sharp outline and flat coloration, have been showing a remarkable transformation during the last few years. In the background, are now appearing the shape of the ocean or mountains, creating a spatial depth and a narration. Through this exhibition, the artist brings the viewer to his own artistic development, to a new expression that can be associated with impressionism.

A forest where the sunlight sways through the trees, a woman standing near by rocks...  The images of Kiwanami depict the exquisite colors of the landscape through multiple layers and create a mysterious world. The strong contrast in between the background and the figures, hiding their faces and composed of lines and color fields only, amplifys the significance of the persons on the canvas. Kiwanami says that the people appearing in his works are becoming more and more virtual existences to him.  In regard to the landscape, he reaches this flat impression thanks to the use of acrylic. By applying many layers the artist minimized the thickness of the paints, that seems against his first objective, but for him, it's like if the acrylic penetrate entirely the canvas and this sensation makes him deeply discern the two-dimentional spatiality. Kiwanami' s new approach to the creation lies in this imbalance in between figures and landscape.

Imura art gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Sae Miyoshi entitled "Flame".

Red, blue, yellow, green, pink, black and white... The oil paint of various colors applied by Sae Miyoshi onto the canvas, sometimes sensitively and sometimes abruptly, forms a forceful ensemble. In her works, Miyoshi depicts ambiguous forms that can be understood both as figurative and abstractive, such as curved lines, that are reminding of internal organs expanding themselves on the colourful surface of the canvas. The artist captures on the canvas, an untold feeling, the images that she has kept in herself since childhood.  

"It is hardly possible to tell my own feelings to others because they become something different once they are put into words. I feel like, once finished, the works are just like another me.", she explained.

Miyoshi gets the inspiration from negative emotions such as anxiety or discomfort in most cases. The works seem to picture a chaotic world at first glance, but they possess something more, an innocence that comes from the pure internality of the artists mental images and that makes a strong visual impression.

Miyoshi has given the title "Flame" to this exhibition, intending to unify vitality, energy, the life, origin and the others into this simple word.

We are pleased to present a solo exhibition of Shiro Tsujimura "Tuchi" (Soil).

The potter living with fire and soil, has chosen Mama-cho, Nara prefecture, for his hermitage, far from the city. Shiro Tsujimura is one of the leader and most representative ceramic artists of our days whose works are highly appreciated for their natural ash glaze and expressive style.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Shiro Tsujimura's life style is his art work itself. Once entered into his house, you may be enchanted with the dignified and heavy sliding door, the jet-black beams on the floor and the carelessly plastered mud walls of the tea room and anteroom, which were built by the artist himself. Shiro Tsujimura's guests learn the true value of his ceramic,  with his Saki cups, produced with his broadminded nature through the heartfelt reception of the artist and his family.

As a self-taught artist, Tsujimura established his innovative and bold way of execution without a teacher. Generally admitted to be prolific, the artist creates numerous works over years, augmenting their maturity by revealing them to the rain and the wind and printing, in the deep surface , the impression to embrace the grand nature of Nara.
His creativity also flourishes in his powerful calligraphy and paintings on which he has been putting much effort and significance for long term.

With the first show in 7 years happening in Kyoto, we are going to showcase Shiro Tsujimura's works from different genres at 3 venues: tea ceremony utensils at "Tessaido" which is one of the most established antiques shops in Kyoto, dishes and cups at "Kou" whose re-opening at a new shop coincides with this exhibition, and calligraphy and paintings at "imura art gallery" which has been vigorously representing Japanese contemporary art.


[ Artist Biography ]
1947  Born in Nara
1965  Left for Tokyo to learn oil painting.
          Inspired by Ido teabowl and decided to take up pottery.
1969  Starts creating pottery
1970  Built a house in Mima, Nara
1993  Built a kiln in Devon, West in England

[ Selected Solo Exhibition ]
1977  Fist exhibition at own house
1983  Mitsukoshi, Nihonbashi, Tokyo
1984  Maruei, Nagoya
1987  Hankyu Umeda Store
1990  Tachikichi Main Store, Kyoto
1993  Frankfurt Japan Art, Germany
1994  Gallery Besson, London ; Frankfurt Japan Art, Germany
1999  Chado Research Center Gallery, Kyoto
2003  Gallery Kokon, New York
2006  Yu Gallery, Palace Hotel, Tokyo
2008  Hoshun-in Daitoku-ji Temple, Kyoto
2011  Ippodo Gallery, Tokyo
2012  Tessaido, Kou, imura art gallery, Kyoto

[ Public Collection ]
U.S.A :
 Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Cleveland Museum of Art
 The Brooklyn Museum of Art
 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 Chado Research Center Gallery Kyoto
 Miho Museum
 Frankfurt Craft Museum
 Museum of East Asian Art, Berlin
 Stockholm Museum of Art

Imura art gallery kyoto, proudly announce the launch of Makito Okada's solo exhibition on 9th June,
2012. With this first opportunity to run Okada's solo show at our gallery, we are going to present a new series, made under the subject of 'impatience, frustration and hope'.

In his distinguished technique, Okada draws motifs of alchemy, scientific experimentation and sea voyage as representations of universal mental states, like the anxiety or the feeling of wishing to escape from the reality; like longing for different worlds or for the past, and he also depicts the hope beyond these feelings. By applying vivid ultramarine blue over the exquisite depiction, the mysterious space constructed by this young yet skillful artist, allures viewers to his creative world.

"Even if there was a romantic revival in the 20th century, "Sublime" is probably already an obsolete word today. Nevertheless, I consider it my job to verify the faithfulness of the great artists who aimed to it and restore such "aesthetics". Knowing that it could be called just a mere romantic passion of 18th to 19th century, I can't help but longing for the moment to reach the world of calmness and profoundness and touch the arising emotion.

I find it appropriate for the universality of romantic spirituality, ideas and emotion toward "sublime" to be treated with the oldest and simplest method. Painting is old and sorcery way with "appearance", "essence" and "correspondence".

Awe toward the nature, apprehension, fear, death, escape from them and longing for a different world and past, absorption in one's own world, hopes beyond tensed mentality. "Privation", that is to say "vacuity", "darkness", "obscurity", "solitude", "silence", "infinity" as Leitmotiv (leading motif) as Burke says, and sea voyage, storm, chemical laboratory in dim light, night, the moon as motifs...
These are elements and requirements involved in my works.

Just as alchemists attempt to reproduce the material and immaterial world in test tubes in a dark laboratory, painters have been longing to discover the world in paintings and, despite their knowing they are just fragments of infinity, to preserve it as a proof. With reliving their experience, I explore to maintain such passionate feeling or disposition onto canvas.

What matters the most is how you keep the clarity and purity of works as paintings. The effect produced with dull color of graphite covered with varnish, and transparent blue organized with synthetic ultramarine as its base. To me this blue is a seductive that drags you into calmness and profoundness, and also a dangerous, severe and noble color that holds intensity in the midst of such calmness. This ultramarine blue keeps green and red in itself, which is suitable to express the state of mentality of fear and puzzlement about to sublime into a different emotion. What I do here might be just an act of applying transparent blue on canvas. But it is worth it, even it is fragmental and incomplete,
if it turns out to be a proof of the universality of romantic spirituality."

Makito Okada

Imura art gallery kyoto is pleased to announce "sometimes we can't choose where we die", a solo exhibition of Sai Hashizume. Sai Hashizume, born in 1980 in Tokyo, has a master degree from Tokyo National University of Arts and Music. After graduation, she moved to Berlin and then Paris to workon new pieces. Since 2010, Hashizume is back in Japan.

Always striving to discover the conciseness in society through her own reality, Hashizume has been attempting to reach for something, even beyond her outstanding talents, in the depiction. In her last year's solo exhibition, she presented a series of works named "After Image" as a blow to the Eurocentrism in art which Hashizume has experienced during her stay in Europe. This time, we will exhibit the new works of "After Image" under the themes of Vanitas, Eros and Death.

Furthermore, the theme which Hashizume currently depicts with her own view is 3.11. It has been almost a year since the disastrous Tohoku earthquakes and Fukushima nuclear plant catastrophe. A lot of information and rumors flooded. Many kinds of media and things have been changing day by day. For lots of people living far away from a stricken area, it could have already become a thing of the past without truly comprehending the reality. Hashizume has recognized this fact, and decided to depict this reality through her art work.

We will exhibit around six art works including the new works of "After Image" and the works under the theme of 3.11.
Please come visit the solo exhibition of Sai Hashizume.

Artist Statement

Back at the time the show was being scheduled, I was intended to constitute the exhibition with further updates of my recently pursuing series "After image". As time passed, however, I regarded it not necessarily urgent to keep working on a theme of western painting as an artist whose country is in a great problem which the whole world pays attention to. Even knowing it was an unpredictable path to go, I started feeling a strong urge to sublimate the sequence of events into works.
I understand the difficulty of working on such an immense issue, ceaselessly continues on paintings which essentially catch a moment, but I can't help attempting to be involved with this enormous event as a mission of artist.

Upon creating the 160cm height oil painting "a lovely day", the main visual of this show, I tried to
visualize the memories of earthquake, fading in minds, of people who are not in the center of the disaster. We certainly were in a tremendous shock on that day, but now it's been less than a year since then and it has already lost the sense of reality and its view is blurred to our eyes. The reality has lost vivid touch to me who live and work in Tokyo, probably to many others who do the same alike. I shall start by outputting this reality just the way it is onto canvas.

I am determined to contemplate the aspect of art, by means of 3.11, that functions as a device to give distinct contour to the air of cruel scene and relate the period of time by being passed forward to generations permanently.


Imura art gallery, Kyoto proudly announces the launch of Tashima Etsuko's solo exhibition "Flowers".

Tashima started her career in 1980's as a leader of the female artists' group called Cho Shojo (Super Girls) in which works were characterized by their powerful expression that easily crosses the boundaries of conventional styles of art. Her feministic works were spotlighted especially for their representative form of the woman body and for the vivid colors. Around 1988, as organic twining forms emerged accompanied with botanical impression, vivid and lustrous color on surface started to submerge her works. This alternation made the artist become more conscious of the form as an entity, including the air surrounding a place. This progress led her further into a series of white pieces covered solely with white slip. The symbolic form seems to represent the spirituality existing at the very bottom of mind, showing a quiet and peaceful vision of the world.

Soon later Tashima has reached a whole new expression, combining translucent glass, composed with a technique called Mold Cast (filling small glass pieces into plaster molds and baking them in a kiln) with ceramics figures (made in a cupola furnace and including color slips). The sophisticated form is fully charged with softness and a certain female impetus.

Yellow petals are suffusing the exhibition "Flowers",  the artist's first solo exhibition in 5 years. The lemon-yellow, together with the pollen's softness and the gloss of glaze make the works full of life force. The artist employs recycled glass from fluorescent light as a new material. Its pale green color, seems driving into the viewer's eyes a subtle light and fusing with the vivid yellow. Etsuko Tashima's new creation with its fountain-like clarity, "by vital colors induces [us] into the pleasant world of brightness.", as the artist said.

Imura art gallery, kyoto proudly announces the launch of Kaori WATANABE's solo exhibition 
"Good News of the Morning" on the 10th of December 2011.

Kaori Watanabe (born in Shizuoka prefecture in 1984) has completed her master degree at Kyoto Saga University of Arts. As apparent from her recent activities, such as showing her works at the exhibition "ZIPANGU - 31 spirited artists cutting through new territories of Japanese contemporary art- " which toured in 3 venues of Takashimaya, or featuring her works in a movie, one may assume that her creativity crosses the boundary of Japanese painting. She is certainly one of the most spotlighted young artists of the Japanese painting, attracting the attention in a wide range of areas.

Watanabe's objective is to "make works that creates a kind of tension you can feel in rituals", using motifs of children. Using her solid techniques, established through the copying practice at university, she depicts the beauty of children's clear skin and their exquisite expression in where innocence and matureness coexist, and thus she describes the "sanctity" of children.

She pictures "the journey of children" throughout the works presented at this exhibition with, as a midpoint: "Kikikirin" a piece of art which was also shown at "ZIPANGU". She depicts children, about to start entering to the world where things are hard, easy or bright, somehow giving them an anxious impression.

In this first solo exhibition since 3 years, we are going to unveil Watanabe's paintings from the past works to the latest ones. The exhibition is entitled "Good News of the Morning", bringing together the idea of anxiety, fresh start and hope at the same time.

Artist Statement
As I have been painting figures of children, I deliberately intertwined a slight shadowy part as much as brightness into the works. This is because the world the children belong to, is by no means innocent.  The kids intuit that what lies ahead them is not just full of hopes. Even though they are still tasked to grow up, end their childhood and become adults. I just earnestly hope they stand strongly with their own feet no matter how the world is harsh on them.


We are pleased to announce the launch of a solo exhibition of Alexander Gelman at imura art gallery kyoto.

Alexander Gelman is an American artist based in New York and Tokyo. His work has entered in public and private collections including The Museum of Modern Art in New York,  la Bibliothèque National de France and other major museums all around the world. Employing various media, Gelman challenges the boundaries between art, science and popular culture.

As he has been publishing his works mostly in New York and Tokyo in recent years, it is going to be his first solo exhibition in Kyoto. We are going to show Gelman's latest work series "Shadows" which is going to be publically presented for the first time at this exhibition.

Shadow series deal with the ambiguity of the identity, the objects don't look the same depending on the angles you take to approach them. On the other hand, shadows are images that only keep the dimension of the surface of the objects and they are lack of the significant quality of its identity. Yet a shadow also exists as two-dimensional images that possess an independent shape from the objects. As much as shadows are images lacking of certain information, they also indicate the possibility to us that objects could be interpreted in a completely different context. Through this duality of shadows, Gelman extracts the essence of the identity of objects and ideas not by accumulating its quality but concealing a part of it.

He says his esthetic of subtraction, which excludes all the unnecessary elements and derives the
essence of ideas, is the core of his creational process. As we use to say that "the ultimate simplicity connotes profound and complex meaning and interpretation", it means we all share this esthetic of subtraction in our sense of  the "Ma" (space in Japanese).

Gelman shows profound sympathy and understanding toward Japanese culture. It is not a superficial and exotic culture that catches his eyes. His enthusiastic interest lies in the various Japanese arts such as crafts, fine arts, martial arts, performing arts and incense art. Through them he contemplates the principle of philosophy and esthetic of Japan inherited ceaselessly.
His works will be also exhibited at art fair Cho-Kyoto (超京都) from 11th [fri] ー 13th [sun] November, taking place at Meisho-shouseien (Higashi-honganji temple).

[Artist's profile]

2004  Limited Run: Gelman Vs. Roth. Andrew Rorth Gallery, New York
2004  Gelman/Davis. Andrew Rorth Gallery, New York
2004  16 Skateboards.Special Gelman installation. The 4th International Ink Painting Biennial of Shenzhen, China
2005  Elemental Narratives. Three large scale installations at CET, Tokyo
2006  The Alexander Gelman Exhibition: New York Connection. GGG, Tokyo
2006  Treasure Map. Alexander Gelman installation at CET, Tokyo
2007  Little Black.. New Works by Alexander Gelman. Installation at Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo
2008  GELMAN-IZE & DAVIZ-IZE, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo
2009  Gelman's Masterpieces, Kakitsubata,Tokyo
2010  Corner, an International Group Show, Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo

2000  Subtraction (RotoVision, UK)
2004  Infiltrate (BIS, Amsterdam)
2006  Gelman Thinks (Browns, London)
2006  Alexander Gelman (GGG, Tokyo)
2007  Alexander Gelman: Little Black Sequencer, New York
2009  Alexander Gelman: Postglobal, PHP Publishing Inc., Tokyo
2010  Gelman's Chess: The artisan Experience, Globally Local Media, Tokyo
2011  35°38' N 139°42'30" E, Sequencer, New York, Tokyo
          Chess Collectible, Sequencer, New York, Tokyo
          Shadows, Sequencer, Sequencer, New York, Tokyo
          Temptations, Sequencer, Sequencer, New York, Tokyo
          Obscured by Clouds, Sequencer, New York, Tokyo

Public collection
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the United States of America
Smithsonian Museum, the United States of America
French National Library, Paris, France
Denver Art Museum, Colorado, the United States of America

We are pleased to announce the launch of Satoshi SOMEYA's solo exhibition "Uragaeritainotameni"  (For the longing to be inside-out). It is going to be our first opportunity to hold his solo exhibition at imura art gallery kyoto since 2 years. 

Someya has completed the Ph.D. program without dissertation at Kyoto City University of Arts this spring. He has been particularly spotlighted in recent years and has presenting his works at: "The Power of Decoration - A viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei," (The National Museum of Modern Art (Craft gallery), Tokyo) in 2009, at "Delicious Art in SATOYAMA," (Matsudai NOUBUTAI, Niigata) in 2010, at "Kan-hikari expo," (Entsuu-ji Temple, Nijo Castle, Kyoto) in 2010, "ZIPANGU," (Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Osaka Takashimaya, Kyoto Takashimaya), at "The new form of Japanese lacquer," (The Museum of Arts and Crafts, Itami, Hyogo) and at "Lacquer Festival, Aizu ~Yell for Tohoku ~," (Aizu-Wakamatsu city, Kitakata city, Fukushima) in 2011. 

Someya produces his art works by using a special dry-lacquer technique, building the base with clay, covering its surface with lacquer and borrowing motifs from the shape of objects or from the living. The artist's daily life and interests: letters, patterns and manga images, are drawn on the surface by Nishiki-e, one of the japanese decorative techniques of lacquer craft.

The decorations of Someya's works entertain the viewers' eyes by the modern sensitivity incorporated in the traditional lacquer's techniques and styles. Through the creation of these works, which are confronted the artist with the strict restriction of the time and with the environment of the medium, the artist has understood the possibility that his medium possesses. His works embodied various objects, such as lacquer bowl, sushi tray, bathroom chair, household Shinto shelf, rice, human's hair, branch, accessory etc., they all show Someya's unique esthetic sense and playful spirit. By all means, in the exhibiting space, in the way to show the works, in the titles of the pieces and the nuance of words, he presents his very own originality under the coherent theme of "decoration". The artist says that he has been trying to keep the feeling of "playing" with the lacquer while making works these days. He has been more conscious of the human body through the moist touch of lacquer feeling like that of a smooth skin, and he says he's started to perceive spots, scars and wrinkles on the "skin" as part of the decoration. The new works indicates the round lines of female bodies and of intertwining bodies, which give a sensual impression to the works. 

He has entitled the exhibition "For the longing to be inside-out". The artist has said "The act of creating works is like making myself inside-out and searching the inner self of me, it would be fun if I could create works that way. But I'm still in the middle of exploration. That is why the title is."    ―Satoshi Someya

Someya is also going to participate in ZIPANGU show, from the 28th of September to the 10th of October, 2011 at Kyoto Takashimaya.

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