Imamura Yoshio

Imamura Yoshio (b. 1948)

“All living things must die, all animate objects decay. Even the grand and impassive mountains, living testimony to the scale of earth’s history, continue to evolve dynamically. In my work, I strive to record the memory of these shifts, the time of these evolutions, onto my copper plates and to impress them on paper.

When man looks nature in the face, he becomes aware of the shallowness and insignificance of his own knowledge. Wild flowers in bloom have driven innumerable artists and sculptors to try to capture their elusive loveliness. The crumbling houses in Japan’s old villages, caught in the ebbing flow of time, provide beautiful colours and textures. When I walk through the wild mountains, they provide me with images for my work.”

At 63 years of age, by Japanese standards, Imamura Yoshio is entering his prime as an artist. Certainly his artist statement echoes the wisdom of experience and an insider’s appreciation of the passage of time and its beauty. Perhaps better known as a print artist, it is Imamura’s rare original work that captures the attention. Impressive in scale and intriguing in the use of mixed media, Imamura’s original works speak directly to the spiritual. The magnetic appeal of texture and colour, the contrast of fine detail and raw abstracts, draws both eye and soul.

In his early years Imamura was influenced by American contemporary art, yet retained an unease at its dissonance with his cultural identity. He is somewhat critical of Japanese art critics who have seen only Western tradition as worthy of review, noting that they seem to have forgotten that it was Japanese art, particularly ukiyoe, that had a profound influence on Western art, particularly Impressionism. He strives to evolve a natural understanding of what is ‘japanese-ness’.

Imamura’s works have been awarded prizes as far afield as India, Egypt and Taipei, Eastern Europe, Spain and Paris. His work is represented in major museums in the United States, Singapore, Germany, Poland and Australia.

1948 Born in Nagano
1976 Kodo Art Exhibit, Tokyo (Also in 1978)
1978 Japan International Art Exhibit, Tokyo, Kyoto
1981 Japanese Contemporary Art Exhibit, Tokyo, Kyoto
1982-2008 Japan Print Assoc. Exhibit, Tokyo, received awards in 89, 96 1985 Wakayama Print Biennial Exhibit, Wakayama (Also in 1989,91,93)
1988 Group show, The Tolman Collection, Tokyo (Also in 1989, 1997)
1989 Miniature Print Biennial, New York, awarded Purchase Prize
Bharat Bhavan International Biennial Exhibit, India, awarded special prize
Taiwan International Print Biennial, Taipei
1989-92 Japan-France Art Exhibit, Tokyo, Paris, received seven awards
1990-2009 Participated in College Women’s Print Show, Tokyo
1991 Studied at Atelier Contre Point, Paris
1991 Cracow International Print Triennale, Poland (Also in 1994)
1992 “Six Japanese Artists on the International Stage,” Hankyu Dept. Store, Tokyo
1993 Ljubljana International Print Biennale, Yugoslavia
1994 Group show, Japan Print Exhibit for “Japan Week 94”,Cairo, Egypt
1995 Group show, Hameenlinna Art Museum, Finland,
Pacific Rim International Print Exhibit, Hawaii, awarded Purchase Prize
1997 Studied at Atelier Contre Point, Paris, under a Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency grant
1998 Group show, Arturo Luz Gallery, Manila
1999 “Japanese Prints by Ten Artists”, Multicultural Festival at Canberra Museum and Gallery
Group show, Sogetsu Gallery, Tokyo
Two-man show, The Tolman Collection, Tokyo
Mini Print International de Cadaques, Spain, awarded prize
1990-2006 One-man show, The Tolman Collection, Tokyo
2008 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition, New Zealand received a jury selection award

Cincinnati Art Museum, USA
Los Angeles County Museum, USA
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia Museum of Arts and Crafts, Hamburg, Germany Singapore Art Museum
Tikotin Art Museum of Japanese Art, Israel Cracow National Museum, Poland
Alberta Province Cultural Dept., Canada
Metal Art Museum, Chiba, Japan
Suzaka Municipal Print Museum, Nagano, Japan Kurobe Municipal Museum, Toyama, Japan

Imamura Yoshio
Lesley Kehoe