Artist Statement


I was born in Kyoto, Japan, 1965. I studied Japanese painting (NIHONGA) on a 2 year diploma course and a two year extension course at Kyoto College of Art, Kyoto Geijutu Tanki Daigaku 京都芸術短期大学
I went to England in 1995 and joined the BA program at the University of Brighton in order to carry on my study of painting but in different manner.
I enjoyed exploring with new media in painting I so far had not been familiar with, such as oil, tempera and acrylics, and I developed my personal technique and concept.
After completing my BA I continued on the MA program at the same university, extending my abilities and consolidating my ideas as an artist, graduating in the summer of 2000.
Since I returned to my home town Kyoto I have been producing a body of work and have had multiple exhibitions in galleries and museums in Kyoto.

I usually work on images of flowers and sometimes of landscapes.
I always start working with a drawing from life.
This attitude and process are strictly adhered to traditional NIHONGA technique.
The time I am spending with a subject matter such as a flower or a landscape is particularly essential for me in order to contemplate my work and to gain inspiration for it, especially because flowers and landscapes never stay the same but keep changing their state constantly.
They inevitably communicate a sense of ‘transiency of life’.
To me the surface of a painting marks the boundary between this world and the other world.
An image I render on black background seems to be floating in the dark so that it looks somehow like an apparition.
My intention is not merely representing the image of a flower or a landscape, but representing the dilemma of our being that incorporates the conflict between its materiality and its spirituality.
Because of my approach my working process is quite slow, for that reason I don’t produce many pieces of works within a short period of time.


Yasuo Imai , 14th August 2014