Video Performance: AIUEONN SIX FEATURES at New York, 1998
Born in Tokyo in 1937. After graduating from the law department at Keio University in 1959, he began making experimental films. With the help of figures such as performance artist ONO Yoko, the painter AKASEGAWA Genpei, the composer KOSUGI Takehisa, and the Butoh dancer HIJIKATA Tatsumi, IIMURA produced his own 8 and 16 mm avant-garde films. Forming the “Film Independents”, an experimental film group, in 1964, he organized the first independent, experimental film festival in Japanese history. His 1965 film AI (Love) was highly acclaimed by Jonas MEKAS, a leading light in New York’s experimental 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. Among his most notable works are Observer / Observed (1975), AIUEONN SIX FEATURES (1993), and Seeing / Hearing / Speaking (2001). He has also published many books, including Geijutsu to hi-geijutsu no aida (Between Art and Non-Art) [San-ichi Publishing, 1970], and Eizo jikken no tame ni (For Visual Experimentation) [Seidosha, 1986].
Since his early avant-garde films in the 1960s, IIMURA Takahiko has been a media art pioneer, expressing a unique worldview while making films, video art, and installations. His sphere of activity extends beyond Japan, and he is highly acclaimed throughout the world, particularly in United States, Germany, and France. One notable characteristic of IIMURA’s artistic approach is his exploration of the relationship between media and perception. And as his extensive writings suggest, he is also an eminent media critic. In light of these efforts, it is no exaggeration to say that IIMURA stands at the forefrontof Japanese media art. (UEMATSU Yuka)