Norio Imai’s Eulogy to a Postwar Japan
Axel Vervoordt (ed.), Ming Tiampo, Midori Yoshimoti and Shoichi Hirai, Norio Imai, exh. cat., Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Ghent: AsaMER, 2013: p. 16.
Directly from the artist
As part of the avant-garde Gutai Art Group, Norio Imai’s diverse practice has spanned painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, and performance. Beginning with monochromatic, minimalist works that explored the sculptural possibilities of painting, he created swells, indentations, and voids in an effort to push the bounds of the two-dimensional surface. To challenge the widespread assumption in postwar Japan that rapid technological innovation would lead to growth, Imai’s forms embodied negative forms of growth such as mutation, dehiscence, and collapse. Working primarily with white, he explored its status both as color and non-color; white paint as present on canvas but also indicative of absence. As his career progressed, Imai extended his explorations to video, often in combination with live performance and photography.
Japanese, b. 1946, Osaka, Japan, based in Osaka, Japan