Kei Imazu

Kei Imazu
Born in Yamaguchi, 1980. Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia.

Imazu draws on a range of sources for the imagery within her artwork: from renowned masterpieces, illustrated museum catalogues, encyclopedias and even trivial photos found on social media. Taking these images and editing them in Photoshop she makes a preliminary sketch in preparation for the oil paintings she goes on to make.

Her method almost stands in contradiction to the work she produces; the energetic and seemingly free brush strokes are in fact precisely pre-arranged employing the digital software available to her. Glitches, which are created by the processing of heavy data, and the familiar-looking image of the software window, things that nowadays we see on a daily basis, have become striking motifs in her paintings.

Development in technology has always brought a change to human perception, especially in relation to art since even prehistoric times. Imazu’s work both in its creation and in its final manifestation is a reflection of this. However, in the midst of the accelerated development in computer graphics and smart phones – things now seen as essentials – Imazu’s work seeks to acquire updated viewpoints on art history by encompassing self-consciousness and reaction to this current spatial arena and its objects. Through the distorted and intertwined images depicted on the canvas, viewers witness a trace of the long time the artist pursued a deep contemplation of the notion of painting itself.

In 2009, Imazu was awarded Prize for Excellence at VOCA, and Encouragement Award at the 5th Kinutani Koji Award. A painting of hers that measures over 4 metres in length was recently acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2017. In 2020, Prix Jean François Prat (France), the prize to promote contemporary painting nominated her as a finalist.


Public Collection

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, United States
Takahashi Ryutaro Collection, Tokyo
Taguchi Art Collection, Tokyo


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