TAKAHIKO IIMURA has been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental film and video, working in film since 1960 and with video since 1970. He is also a widely established international artist, having numerous exhibitions in Japan, the USA, and Europe. One of his early films, “Onan”, was awarded Special Prize at the legendary Brussels International Experimental Festival, 1964. Recently he has been involved in using the computer, publishing multimedia interactive CD-ROMs combining video, test, graphics, and photos.
Iimura came to the USA in 1966 as a fellow of the Harvard University International Seminar (headed by Dr. Henry Kissinger) in Boston sponsored by the Asia Foundation, Tokyo. Since then, he has received fellowships from the Japan Society, New York, 1966-68; the German Academy Exchange Endowment for the Arts, Washington, 1979; the Canada Council, Ottawa, 1981; the Australia-Japan Foundation, Melbourne, 1984, the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, 1986; the Japan Foundation, Tokyo, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1992; the Saison Foundation, Tokyo, 1991; the Japan Arts Fund, Tokyo, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000; the Great Britain-Sasakawa Foundation, Tokyo, 1998; Foundation Franco Japonaise Sasakawa, Tokyo, 1999; the Taikou Foundation, Nagoya, 1997, 1999; and the Pola Art Foundation, Tokyo, 1999.
As an internationally recognized artist, Iimura has been invited to exhibitions and lectures at many universities, museums and festivals. Major individual film and video exhibitions, including installations and live performances, have been held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1975, 1981; the Whitney Museum, New York, 1981; Cinematheque Francaise, Paris, 1974; Centre George Pompidou, Paris, 1997; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 1982, 1985; the Saison Museum, Tokyo, 1991; the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, 1995; the Japan Culture Center, Rome, 1997; the Lux center, London, 1998; the Filmuseum, Munich, 1998; and the national Gallery Jeu de Paume, Paris, 1999; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid, 2000; Barcelona Contemporary Museum, Barcelona, 2000. National Laboratorio Artealamedia, Mexico City, 2001.
Iimura has received awards for his work at Brussels International Experimental Film Festival, Special Prize, 1964; Thomas Edison Black Maria Film/Video Festival, Jersey City, Grand Prize, 1986; San Francisco International Film Festival, Golden Gate Prize, 1987; UNESCO Festival Inernational Du Film D’Art, Architecture Prize, 1991; Sound Based Visual Art Festival, Wroclaw, Poland, Rusting Ear Prize, 1997, and Thomas Edison Black Maria Film/Video Festival, Jersey City, Director’s Citation Award, 1999. Bronze Prize, New York Expo Festival, New York, 2001. Thaw 01 Festival, Iowa., awarded, 2001. NAP Video Festival, Katztown, N.J., awarded, 2001 Thomas Edison Black Maria Film/Video Festival, Jersey City, Director’s Citation Award, 2002. He was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum, New York in 1989 to produce a film; “Ma: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-ji”.
Jonas Mekas, film critic, has said that “his [Iimura’s] Japanese origins contributed decisively to his uncompromising explorations of cinema’s minimalist and conceptual possibilities. He has explored this direction of cinema in greater depth than anyone else. To review all of Iimura’s work…is an important occasion for all who are concerned with the development and pleasure of cinema as an art.”