Kei Imazu, Toru Kuwakubo, Yu Yasuda, Painting Never Dies
今津景、桑久保徹、安田悠「Painting Never Dies」
May 26 – Jun 30, 2012

Kei Imazu
Kei Imazu, cherry blossom, 2012, 162 ×194 cm, oil on canvas
(c) Kei Imazu, courtesy of YAMAMOTO GENDAI

Toru Kuwakubo
Toru Kuwakubo, Life of Pink Sand Beach, 2010, 130.5 x 162.0 cm, oil on canvas
(c) Toru Kuwakubo, courtesy of Tomio Koyama Gallery

Yu Yasuda
Yu Yasuda, Sorrow, 2011, 53 x 65.2 cm, oil on canvas


YUKA TSURUNO is pleased to announce “Painting Never Dies”, a three-person exhibition from May 26 through June 30 showcasing oil paintings that explore the approaches and techniques of three artists from the same generation: Kei Imazu, Toru Kuwakubo and Yu Yasuda.

The "death of painting" has long been an oft-repeated refrain in the history of art. Each time a new artistic form emerged, such as photography, video, or installation, much was made of the demise of painting. Even when a “return to painting” occurred as a backlash against this tendency, this did not necessarily imply the end of painting. Looking back at the history of art of the 20th century, it seems evident that painting has continued to occupy a firmly established position among artistic media. At large-scale international exhibitions and art fairs, however, there has been a tendency to emphasize the novelty of new artistic techniques. Videos and installations are mainstays at such events. This exhibition, which features works by invited guests Kei Imazu and Toru Kuwakubo, is an attempt to reconsider the output of artists who continue to create unique paintings while adhering strictly to the traditional artistic tools of canvas and oil pigment. What these three artists share between them are a strong desire to paint and depict a singular world with a contemporary sensibility, and an attempt to actively engage with the era in which they live.

The surfaces of Kei Imazu’s paintings are made up of a combination of images taken from magazines and the Internet and photos taken by the artist herself. The vague sense of time and perspective in these works create landscapes that seem to quiver and shift. The uncanny floating sensation that lingers on the surface of these landscapes evokes the uncertainties and contradictions of the real world that stand in contrast to their beauty. Toru Kuwakubo started his career as a painter by questioning the status of painting as a contemporary art form. He adopted a theatrical approach that involved an imaginary alter ego – a painter called Claude Bonet. Using thick impasto that makes full use of the rhythm of his brushstrokes – a painterly technique that seems to be borrowed from the language of Western modernism – Kuwakubo depicts emotional scenes in contemporary society through a variety of phenomena and objects. With an inimitable touch and shimmering layers of bold color where time and space seem to mingle and collide, Yu Yasuda depicts dream-like landscapes and a fluid, painterly world liberated from existing notions of space and time. These landscapes seem to be premonitions that offer us a glimpse at a future to come, materializing at the other end of the horizon.

In addition to one new large canvas by each artist, this exhibition will also feature a number of smaller works. “Painting Never Dies” promises to be an exciting encounter between three of today’s most up-and-coming painters, hinting at new possibilities for the medium of painting.

Artists profile

Kei Imazu
Born in 1980, received MA in 2007 from Tama Art University. Selected exhibitions include Flash, YAMAMOTO GENDAI, (2012); JAPANESE COLORS, GALLERY IHN, Korea (2012); VOCA, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2009).

Toru Kuwakubo
Born in 1978, received BA in oil painting from Tama Art University in 2002. Selected exhibitions include Out of Noise, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2010), Telling of Sea, Telling of Painter, Tokyo Wonder Site Shibuya (2010), World Citizens with the White Boxes, Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo (2008).

Yu Yasuda
Born in 1982, received MA in oil painting from Musashino Art University in 2007. Selected exhibitions include VOCA, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2008), Art in an Office, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi (2011), The other side of vestige, YUKA TSURUNO, Tokyo (2010).


Tomio Koyama Gallry

YUKA TSURUNOでは5月26日~6月30日まで、同時代の表現を追求する油彩作家、今津景、桑久保徹、安田悠による3人展「Painting Never Dies」を開催いたします。





1980年生まれ、2007年多摩美術大学大学院美術研究科修了。主な展覧会に「Flash」(山本現代、東京、2012年)、「JAPANESE COLORS」(GALLERY IHN、韓国、2010年)「VOCA展」(上野の森美術館、東京、2009年)など。

1978年生まれ、2002年多摩美術大学大学絵画科油画専攻卒業。主な展覧会に「Out of Noise」(ギャラリー・ヒュンダイ、ソウル、2010年)「海の話し 画家の話し」(トーキョーワンダーサイト渋谷、東京、2010年)、「World Citizens with the White Boxes」

1982年生まれ、2007年武蔵野美術大学大学院造形研究科美術専攻油絵コース修了。主な展覧会に「VOCA展」(上野の森美術館、東京、2008年)、「Art in an Office」(豊田市美術館、愛知、2011年)、「面影の向こう側」(YUKA TSURUNO、東京、2011年)など。