Known for his painting series featuring stripes of vivid colour, Imai Shunsuke (b. 1978) has explored a range of artistic expression, deftly crisscrossing the boundaries between figurative and abstract, two- and three-dimensional, and art and design. Depicting images resembling waves or flags portrayed with a distinctive pop colour sense, his painting series was inspired by experiences in which he was powerfully moved by the pattern of an acquaintance’s swaying skirt, or the colours of fast fashion items stacked at a mass retailer.
Based on an examination of the basic elements of painting ─ colour, shape, and two-dimensionality ─ Imai’s practice renders forms on canvas through the random arrangement of combinations of simple colours and shapes—such as stripes and circles ─ which are warped or undulating, posing questions about the fundamental meaning of painting, and about its potential.
This exhibition, Imai’s first solo museum exhibition, was originally mounted at the Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in 2022, and it is now coming to Tokyo. A group of works has been newly added to show the process that led to the stripe paintings, introducing visitors to Imai’s varied forms of expression ─ from his early works to his latest works ─ including sculpture, video and installation, but mainly focusing on his paintings.
We are living in a contemporary society overflowing with visual information. Through the fresh rhythms of the shapes and colours that Imai produces, this exhibition will open up our physical senses.

Installation view, Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art
photo: Okano Kei