TAKAHIKO IIMURA, born in Tokyo in 1937, is a pioneering artist known for his work with  film, video, installation, performance, and digital technologies spanning more than 50 years.

Iimura first began working with film in 1960, with themes such as eroticism and social criticism, and was instrumental in the burgeoning Japanese experimental and independent film scene. He quickly broadened his practice in 1963 to expanded cinema performance with “Dada 62” using 8mm film projected onto the walls of Tokyo’s Naiqua Gallery, and “Screen Play” presented at the Sogetsu Art Center in Toyko in which his 16mm film “Iro” (1963) is projected onto the back of a performer reading a newspaper.


The artist first received international attention in 1964 at the Knokke-Le-Zoute Experimental Film Festival in Belgium where he received a joint Special Prize and his  film “Ai (LOVE)” (1962) caught the attention of Jonas Mekas who went on to praise the piece in the Village Voice and present the film the next year at his Film-makers’ Cinematheque. Inspired by the film’s reception and also encouraged by fellow Japanese artist Yoko Ono, who made the soundtrack for the piece, Iimura moved to the US on a Fellowship from Harvard University in 1966 and soon immersed himself in the mid-60s New York experimental film and art community.

Iimura’s first works in video date to 1970. His early videos were included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art of New York and PS1 (1975), and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, France (1977), while other performance based works and interactive installations were featured in the 1979 two-person exhibition “New Video” (with Shigeko Kubota) at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. During this time, he also continued to work with film, moving toward more formal investigations of time and space using the filmstrip both as an object and through projection.

In 1981, the year the artist became a permanent resident of the US, his work was included at the Whitney Museum’s Biennial Exhibition. That same year, he debuted his punch hole film performance “Circle and Square” at Millennium Film Workshop. Other exhibitions of note in the 80s include “Video Art: A History” at MoMA, New York (1983) and the premiere of Iimura’s “MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-Ji”, a commission by the “Program for Art on Film” of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Trust, at the Japan Society in 1989 and later screened at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre Museum in Paris, among others. Nineteen eighty-nine was also the year Iimura’s book “New York Art Diary”, a personal account of his life in the city and the artistic scene was published.

In the 1990s, Iimura’s work was featured in several major exhibitions including “Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against The Sky” (1994) at the Guggenheim Museum, and “The American Century, Part II” (1999-2000) at the Whitney Museum. During the 2000s, Iimura turned his focus to interactive computer-based art and semiology of video, while continuing to exhibit and perform in institutions and galleries in the US and abroad.

Recently, his work has seen a resurgence including a solo exhibition “Between The Frames” at Microscope Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) in 2011, early works presented in “Tokyo: Experiments in Music and Performance” (2013) at MoMA, New York, and “Throwing Shadows: Japanese Expanded Cinema in the Time of Pop” (2016), at the Tate Modern, London.

Among the institutions that have exhibited Iimura’s works are Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York, NY; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Kitchen, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, CA; Pacific Film Archive, Berkley, CA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MI; Carnegie Art Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Tate Modern, London, UK; Serpentine Galleries, London, UK; Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, UK; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Arsenal, Berlin, Germany; Filmmuseum, Munich, Germany; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

Fellowships include: Rockefeller Foundation (2001); New York State Council for the Arts (2001); Japan Arts Fund, Tokyo (1994, 1997, 1998, 2000); New York Foundation for the Arts, New York (1986); Japan Foundation, Tokyo (1982, 1985, 1989, 1992); Canada Council, Ottawa (1981); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Berlin (1972); The Japan Society (1966-68); Harvard University Fellowship (1966); among numerous others.

Iimura’s work is in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy;  Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; among others.

Takahiko Iimura currently lives and works in New York.





Born in Tokyo, 1937.
Graduated, Keio University , Tokyo.



Solo Exhibitions and Retrospectives

2011
“Takahiko Iimura: Between the Frames”, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn NY

2004
Anthology Film Archives, New York. Temple University, Philadelphia.

2003
Gallery Surge, Tokyo.
Kobe Art Village Center, Kobe.
Lux, London.
Cinema La Clef, Paris.
Tokyo Polytechnic University, Tokyo.
Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

2002
Jaraf, New York

2001
Laboratorio Artealameda, Mexico City.
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
RBMC, New York.
Dayton Art Center, Dayton, Ohio.
Art Complex, Kyoto.
Barks Filmmkers, Reading, Pa.
Carnegie Mellon University, and Pittsburg Filmmakers, Pittsburg, Pa.
University of Cincinati, Cincinati, Ohio.
Phaidros CAFE, Tokyo.
Praha, Sapporo.

2000
Nagoya City Archive, Nagoya.
The Kitchen, New York.
Millennium, New York.
The Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, New York.
Reina Sofia National Museum of Art, Madrid.
Barcelona Contemporary Museum, Barcelona.

1999
The Kitchen, New York.
Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris.
Galerie J&J Donguy, Paris.

1998
Hillside Forum, Tokyo.
The Lux Centre, London.
Filmmuseum, Munich

1997
Landmark Hall, Yokohama.
The Institute of Japanese Culture, Roma.
Millennium, New York

1996
The Kitchen, New York.
Hiroshima Contemporary Art Museum, Hiroshima.
Landes Museum, Linz, Austria.

1995
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo.
Millennium, New York

1994
Somido, Ginza Sony, Tokyo.
102 Art Toung!, Grenoble, France.
CAYC, Buenos Aires.
Spoutnik, Geneve.
Fri art, Fribourgh.
Scratch Projection, Paris.
Apt Gallery, Tokyo.
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, N.C.

1993
Electronic Cafe, Santa Monica, C.A.
Nagoya Cinematheque, Nagoya.
Kirin Plaza Osaka, Osaka

1992
Galerie DAAD, Berlin.
Arsenal Kinematek, Berlin.
Millennium, New York.
Museum of Sound and Image, San Paulo.
Arizona State university, Tucson, Arizona

1991
Studio 200, Tokyo.
Millennium, New York

1990
Anthology Film Archives, New York.
Osaka contemporary Art center, Osaka.
Kyoto Cultural Museum, Kyoto.

1987
Media Gallery, San Francisco.
Ted Greenwald Gallery, New York.
Cinematheque, San Francisco

1985
Multe Media Center, Zagreb.
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
Museum Square, Osaka.

1984
Glass House Theater, Melbourne.
Europe Space, Melbourne.

1983
The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo.
Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo

1982
Image Forum, Tokyo.
Osaka Contemporary Art Center, Osaka.

1981
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Boston Flm/Video Foundation, Boston.
Gzikanka Gallery, Warsaw.

1980
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.
Long Beach Museum, Los Angeles.
Honolulu Art Museum, Honolulu.

1979
Austrian Film Museum, Vienna.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Media Art Center, Buffalo.

1978
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Vehicle Gallery, Montreal.
Carnegie Art Museum, Pittsburgh

1977
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Apple gallery, New York.
Institute of Contemporary Art Center, Antwerp.

1976
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.
Collective for Living Cinema, New York.
U.C.Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA.

1975
Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Anthology Film Archives, New York.

1974
Millennium, New York. Galerie 23, Paris.
Cinematheque Francaise, Paris.

1973
Arsenal Kinematek, Berlin.
Backer Gallery, Bochum, Germany.
Lenbachhaus Stadtische Galerie, Munich.

1972
Millennium, New York.
Japanese House, New York.
The Kitchen, New York.

1971
Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco.
UCLA Film Center, Los Angeles.

1970
Sogetsu Cinematheque, Tokyo.
Scorpio Theater, Tokyo.

1969
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Royal Film Archive, Brussels.

1968
Canyon Cinematheque, San Francisco.
Judson Gallery, New York.

1967
Film-makers’ Cinematheque, New York.
Gate Theater, New York.

1966
Film-makers’ Cinematheque, New York.
Black Gate Intermedia, New York.

1965
Sogetsu Cinematheque, Tokyo.

1963
Naiqua gallery, Tokyo.


Group Exhibitions and Screenings

2012
“Tokyo 1955-70: A New Avant-Garde”, MoMA, NY.

2010
“Independence”, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn NY.

2005
“Vital Signs”, Maya Stendhal Gallery, NY.

2004
“Artist Night”, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo.
“John Cage Film, Video, Music Festival”, Anthology Film Archives, New York.

2003
New Art program Video Biennial, Lehigh Valley, USA (Award, Honorable Mention for Seeing / Hearing / Speaking).
Edith-Ruth-fur Medien Kunst. Oldenburg, Germany.
Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, USA.
Okamoto Taro Museum, Tokyo.

2002
Japan Society Image Art and Sience Conference, Tokyo.
File 2002(nElectronic Language International Festival), Sao Paulo.
Cosign02 (Computational Semiotics for Games and New Media), Augsburg University, Augsburg, Germany.
ISEA (International Symposium for Electoronic Arts), Nagoya.

2001
Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, U.K.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.
WRO Int’l Media Art, Wrocraw, Poland.

2000
“Big As Life, An American History of 8mm Film”, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Enclosed and Enchanted”, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, Oxford.

1999
“The American Century, Part II”, Whitney Museum, New York.
Contact Zone, The Art of CD-ROM, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

1997
Society of Japanese Image and Science, Yamagata, Japan.
Rockefellar Center Degital Video Wall curated by Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mito Art Museum, Mito, Japan.

1996
Sakura City Museum, Sakura, Japan.
“New Vision”, Glasgow, UK.

1995
Bourges Video Festival, Bourges, France. Kwangji Biennale Kwangji, Korea.
MA Performance Festival, Dusserldorf.
New York Festival, New York

1994
“Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky,” Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama.
“Mutations de l’Image,” Videotheque de Paris, Paris.
“Images du Futur,” La Cite des Arts et des Noubelles Technologies, Montreal.
“Japanese Art After 1945,” Guggenheim Museum, New York.
“ISEA94,” Helshinki.
“Body & Image,” Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya.

1993
“00 Collaborations” Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo.
ART ON FILM/FILM ON ART,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.
“Rolywholyover A Circus by John Cage,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

1992
“Hearing Art”, Center for Contemporary Arts, Warsow.
“Video-New World,” O Museum, Tokyo.
“Adam and Eve,” The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama.
“John Cage Memorial,” Ohnoya Hall, Tokyo.

1991
“Millennium 25 Years,” Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“Sound & Images in Film,” Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles.

1990
“New Art Film,” Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/Musee de Louvre, Paris.
“Video Sculpture,” Kunstverein, Cologne/Kongresshalle, Berlin.
“Minimalism Now,” I.C.P., New York.

1989
“New Films From Japan,” Japan Society, New York.

1987
“Video From Japan,” Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.

1983
“History of Video Art,” Museum of Modern Art, New York.
“1960s,” Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo.
“Experimental Film, 1970s,” Collective for Living Cinema, New York.

1982
“Bijyutsu Gekijyo,” Hiyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe, Japan.

1981
“Biennial Exhibition,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

1979
“Cinema Experimental Japonaise”, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
“Video Wochen, Essen 79,” Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany.

1978
“Recent Japanese Avantgarde Film,” Museum of Modern Art, New York.

1976
“Video Art”, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia.

1975
“Video Week”, Serpentine Gallery, London.
Germain Gallery, Paris.

1974
“Video/Art”, Musee d’Art Modern, Paris.
“Japan: Art and Tradition,” Kunsthalle, Duseldorf.

1973
“Open Circuit”, Everson Museum of Art, New York.
“Aktionen der Avantgarde,” Akademie der Kunste, Berlin.

1971
Eighth Avantgarde Fesitval, Armory Hall, New York.
“Mainichi Contemporary Art Exhibition,” Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo.

1970
“Wandering Concert,” Goethe Institute, Tokyo.
Third Crosswald Intermedia, Asahi Shinbun-sha Hall, Tokyo.

1969
“Experiment,” Kunthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany.

1967
New York Film Festival, Lincoln Center, New York.

1966
“Japanese Experimental Film”, Museum of Modern Art, New York.



Selected Public Collections

Anthology Film Archives, New York
Everson Museum of Art, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Donnell Library, New York
American Federation of the Art, New York
Metropolitan Museum of the Art, New York
Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia, Venice
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
Museumsverein Aachen, Aachen, Germany
Royal Belgique Film Archive, Brussels
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai
Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya
Tatsumi Hijikata Memorial Hall, Tokyo
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

Fellowships and Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award from Cultural Ministry of Japan, 2016
Rockefeller Study & Conference Center, Como, Italy, The Rockefeller Foundation*, 2001
Institute for Electronic Arts, Alfred University, New York*, 2001
The New York State Council for Arts, New York, 2001
Valparaiso Foundation*, Mojacar, Spain., 2000
Asahi Shimbun Foundation, Tokyo, 2000
Pola Art Foundation, Tokyo, 1999
Fondation Franco Japonaise Sasakawa, Tokyo, 1999
Great Britain-Sasakawa Foundation, Tokyo, 1998
Banff Art Centre, Banff, Canada*, 1998
Nomura Cultural Foundation, Tokyo ,1997
Taikou Foundation, Nagoya, 1997,1999
Japan Art Funds, Tokyo, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003
Saison Foundation, Tokyo, 1991
Japan Foundation, Tokyo, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995,1999
New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, 1986
Australia-Japan Foundation, Tokyo*, 1984
Canada Counsil, Ottawa, *1981
National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C.,1979
Creative Artists Program, New York, 1976
Deutschen Akademischer Austauschdienst(DAAD), Berlin*, 1973-74, 1992
Japan Society, New York, 1966-68
Harvard University, Cambridge*, 1966

 




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