@YUKO IMAI 2011, MAISON FRANCO-JAPONAISE, Tokyo
Les peintures de Yuko Imai traitent d’un sujet à la fois très contemporain et universel, celui du vieillissement et de ces conséquences physiques et mentales ; elles sont le fruit du regard de l’artiste qui s’interroge sur la destinée humaine et qui produit chez celui qui s’arrête devant ces œuvres, émotion et réflexion sur sa propre existence. Réalisées à partir de la propre expérience de l’artiste, de sa relation très particulière avec une grand-mère aimée, les peintures de Yuko Imai touchent par la simplicité des compositions, la fragilité qui émane du personnage surpris dans des poses inattendues mais criantes de vérité.
Yuko Imai's paintings cover an extremely contempary and at the same time universal subject, that of ageing and it's physical and mental consequences.These are the fruit of the artist's point view who wonders about humanity's destiny which in turn causes emotion within the viewer and incites him or her to think about one's very own existence.These works were achieved thanks to the artist's own experience who shared a very special relationship with her beloved grandmother.Yuko Imai's paintings are moving through their simple composition and fragility which emanates from these figures caught unawares in unexpected but true to life postures.
Conseiller culturel adjoint
Ambassade de France à Tokyo
I still remember the glaringly vivid impression I felt when I first saw Yuko Imai's work. The repeated images of the old woman, the eyes and her installation with paintings and mirrors. Was it Japanese-style painting or contemporary art? It was something that had gone beyond those bounds, and I couldn't look away.
The old woman's eyes cut into the eyes of the viewers, and the gaping hole of nothingness asks us, "What is your existence?" But an important point is that we don't feel any negativity from her work. I admire the positive aura that extends from a point of communication breakdown, rather than simply focusing on something shallow such as "life" itself.
In our fluidized world, societal values change constantly. Despite that, the value of creating something and realizing great talent is still priceless. It can create a solid beam of hope. I feel that beam of light in Yuko Imai's art. It's moving toward the future. Her art possesses the ability to cut into life and society, no matter how chaotic or problematic it may be.
Shigeo GOTO (Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design / Committee Member, a.a.t.m.)