Hideki IINUMA “Beauties”

Flamboyance vanity, 2011, cypress、h130x70x180cm

From July 8th (Friday) to July 24th (Sunday), SNOW Contemporary is holding the exhibition “Beauties”, Hideki Iinuma’s first solo exhibition in Japan.

Hideki Iinuma, born in 1975, after graduating for the graduate school of the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, entered Ecole Regionale des Beaux-Arts, Nantes (France). Thanks to the European university student exchange program (ERASMUS) provided by the Ecole Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, he took part in studying programs which led him to Copenhagen (Denmark), Milan (Italy), and Karlsruhe (Germany). Participating to solo and group exhibitions all over Europe, he developed a long career there as a woodcarving artist.
In February this year, with his participation to “Tokyo Frontline”, the art fair taking place in 3331 Arts Chiyoda, he made a spectacular debut in Japan and, showing a sharp imagination, attracted public attention by turning the exhibition booth into a fashion show runway with a fluorescent pink wall as a background.

All Hideki Iinuma’s pieces have in common is the coarse texture of wood surface he carves. His creations are the result of a mental contemplation of the future form, and do not use any sketch or draft. They are a mix of delicately and roughly carved parts in which one can still distinguish the cracks and the knots of the wood and the traces left from the carving process, so finely balanced that it agitates the viewers’ imagination. The repeating motif of his creations, which consists in snap shots of women featured in the fashion magazines or of ordinary girls from the streets of Tokyo, both of them passionate with fashion and living in the moment, makes us feel the strong embedment of his work in our modern society.
Also, when Hideki Iinuma photographs his works by himself, instead of the white cube, he chooses to shoot them with urban or natural landscapes as a background. Not that he thinks of it as a photographic creation, but he prefers this way because it helps communicating more intelligibly the meaning the wooden sculptures carry. Indeed, each of Hideki Iinuma’s creations captivates the present moment and surprisingly blends into the sceneries of the contemporary society, generating a unique synergetic effect.

For his first solo exhibition in Japan, Hideki Iinuma returns to the source and concentrates on exploring what any artwork should embody: “beauty”. The passion that drives him into creating is the simple desire to give form to his idea of beauty. It is different from the Pygmalion’s quest of an ideal woman, but the artist, who lives in the contemporary “society” where people’s values are increasingly diversifying, uses his creations to convey the concept of beauty as he personally perceives it.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to see “Beauties”, the long-awaited first solo exhibition in Japan of Hideki Iinuma after his long career abroad.


2011.7.8 FRI – 7.24 SUN 12:00 – 20:00

opening reception:7.8 FRI 17:00-20:00

talk show : 7.8 FRI 17:00-18:00 Hideki Iinuma x Satoru Aoyama (artist)
venue:XYZ collective (1F 2-30-20 Tsurumaki, Setagaya, Tokyo)
venue:XYZ collective (1F 2-30-20 Tsurumaki, Setagaya, Tokyo)

riends, 2010, camphor, h66x45x18cm

“The appeal of contemporary art depends on how the “visual game” and the “mental game” are combined together. In an extreme instance, even an interesting visual or a brilliant craftwork will not originate some new value if not relayed by something more. To which extend does the work generate an informative energy and also a conversion (“transmission”) of substance; this could be a criterion for judgment.
The work of Hideki Iinuma marvelously fulfills the condition required for contemporary art to have a present-day relevancy. The images of these girls who have had their picture “stolen” in the streets have “the same look” in common with the so familiar cell phone pictures. And these images are “converted” into the classic (the original) woodcarving. While being a dive into the contemporaneousness, fluid and ephemeral, it also provides this “joy of possession” that goes over time.
Hideki Iinuma, who exemplifies with great talent the charm of this “conversion” that art is, will doubtlessly become one of the major artists of our time and will set up a new frontline.”

Shigeo Goto (Professor/Kyoto University of Art and Design, Director/TOKYO FRONTLINE)

“The surface of woodcarving where primitiveness remains intentionally emphasizes yearning similar to fear instead of accomplishing his desire for beautiful women.”

Satoru Aoyama (artist)

“Hideki Iinuma is a meister who have learnt the traditional Japanese art of woodcarving passed on for centuries. His talent consisting of inspiring his sculptures with life had him invited to the exhibition. He sees women from the fashion magazines or girls swaggering about on the streets as potential models and transforms them into works of art. He skillfully depicts these modern women as they take striking poses and don’t forget to be sexy while being career-oriented.”

“Tages Anzeiger” (March 24, 2011)

photo : Yusuke Tsuchida

Hideki Iinuma - biography

2010 - Marian Cramer Projects, Amsterdam, Holland 2006 - Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zurich, Swiss 2005 - Ernst Barlach museum, Hamburg, Germany
       - Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zurich, Swiss 2004 - Cornelius Pleser, Munich, Germany
2003 - Vigilius Mountain Resort, Merano, Vigiljoch, Italy
       - Cornelius Pleser, Munich, Germany
2002 - Maison Billaud, Fontenay-le-Comte, France
       - Cornelius Pleser, Munich, Germany
       - Chappelle du Genetil, Chateau-Gontier, France

2011 – “TOKYO PARIS ROTTERDAM”, Museum Tongerlohuys, Holland
2010 - "Featuring S(outh) E(ast) A(sia) -g27", Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland 2009 - "Uit Japan", Galeris LUMC, Leiden, Holland
2008 - "Global nomads", Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem, Holland
2007 - "Bird Watching", de Vishal, Haarlem, Holland
2004 - Jeunne creation 2004, Paris, France
       - Wood Sculpture Symposium, Plauen, Markneukirchen, Germany 2003 - acb galeria, Budapest, Hungary
2002 - La Biennale A Vos Arts, Rennes, France
       - Wood Sculpture Symposium FLUR 2002 Plauen, Markneukirchen, Germany - Collectif 125, St-Germain des-Pres, Paris, France

2005 - Ernst Barlach Prize, Hamburg, Germany
2004 - First prize of International wood sculpture symposium, Plauen 2004, Germany 2001 - Scholarship by government France, Japan
1999 - Scholarship of INOAC Company, Japan