Deeply involved with avant-garde art movements of the 1960s, Takahiko Iimura formed the experimental film group Film Indépendant with Nobuhiko Obayashi, Yoichi Takabayashi, Donald Richie, and Koichiro Ishizaki in 1964. In 1966 he moved to New York where he was influenced by the underground film scene. In 1969, Iimura shifted to video art, holding solo shows and performances at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1974 and the Whitney Museum in 1979, and gaining an international reputation as a video artist. He has worked with a variety of media including film, video, performance, expanded cinema, installation, and interactive media. He has held numerous solo exhibitions in major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; the National Gallery Jeu de Paume, Paris; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, in addition to artist residencies at the German Academy of Arts, Berlin, and the Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Study Center, Bellagio, Italy.
In November 2016, CCJ invited Professor Mona Jimenez and Laurie Duke to Tokyo to conduct research and present workshops. A collection survey of the work of Takahiko Iimura was conducted November 23–25, 2016. The goal of the survey was to locate and assess the highest quality version of the artist’s works. More detail about this project is presented here.
An interview with the artist was conducted during the research about selected works. Transcriptions of the interview is forthcoming.
MA:SPACE/TIME IN THE GARDEN OF RYOANJI (1989)
October 1-30, 2016
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
CCJ collaborated with the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden to present a month-long exhibition of artist Takahiko Iimura's work from 1989, MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoanji (1989). Contemplating Henri Bergson’s temporal concept durée, artist Takahiko Iimura (b. 1937) explores time by capturing the intervals between the rocks in the garden of Ryoanji Temple. MA:Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoanji was made in 1989, in collaboration with architect Arata Isozaki (text) and composer Takehisa Kosugi (sound). The installation is complimented by the Japanese garden and the mid-century house designed by Junzo Yoshimura in 1953 for an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art.
VIDEO AND BEFORE: FIVE JAPANESE PIONEERS
Thursday, March 3, 2016 at International House Philadelphia
Friday, September 11, 2015 at Grey Art Gallery at New York University
Video and Before explores various contexts in which artists began using video, bringing art historical, technical, social, and biographical backgrounds forward against each artist’s discovery and experimentation of the new medium.
A Dance Party in the Kingdom in Lilliput Nos. 1, 1964, 16mm, 12 min. (4 min. excerpt)
Film Strips II, 1966–1970, 16mm, 24 min. (4 min. excerpt)
Chair, 1970, video, 8 min. (3 min. excerpt)
I Love You, 1973–1987, video, 4:40 min. (3 min. excerpt)
The section on Iimura presents two film works (before 1970) and two video works (after 1970). A Dance Party in the Kingdom in Lilliput Nos. 1 (1964) features the artist himself and Kazakura Sho, a member of the group Neo Dadaism Organizers. The comedic piece incorporates structuralist elements, reflecting Iimura's filmic interests at that time. On the other hand, he uses filmic techniques and effects to abstract the imagery of a riot in Detroit in Film Strips II (1966–1970). One of his first works on video, Chair (1970) explores perception in using the flicker effect. Later on, these early experiments in video develop into conceptual work. Many of his conceptual investigations involved performance on camera, such as that captured in I Love You (1973–1987), on which he collaborated with his wife, Akiko Iimura. More information on Iiumura’s works are available on his website.