Shizue Imai is a sculptor working in New York city.
Originally from Japan, she moved to the United States in 1989 to pursue her passionate dream of living in the world of art.
Although she remains deeply rooted in the ceramic tradition of her native land, she has grasped the boldness and freedom of her adopted
country with all her heart. This intense passion inspires her to balance sensitivity to delicate natural surface with her brave embrace of modern
innovation. Ms Imai’s deft handling of organic form coupled with her iconoclastic approach brings
forth work of unusual sophistication.
Her work has a mystical presence. Shizue Imai creates illusion through the most concrete of forms. Her sculptures are modern talismans,
abstract and functional, richly textured yet somehow illusionistic.
She is modern woman working in a historical medium, a singular artist transforming ceramic design today.
The depth and breath of her work is truly a testament to her mastery of ceramic art.
All her work is individually hand made and each piece is unique. She formulates innovative clay and glazes for each new project, and is always
experimenting, searching new paths towards unforeseen destination. She uses “caveating sgraffito”, sculpting with layers of liquid clays, of color
to create subtle painterly surface. The resulting images always manage to harmonize yet surprise, seeming both inevitable yet avant-guard.
Some quotes from a recent interview:
“Every time I pick up a piece of clay, it’s a fresh journey for me.
A dialog ensure with the material, and we go somewhere new together. This sense of adventure is my greatest challenge and brings me the
deepest satisfaction. Each new work embodies a special exploration into an unknown word.
“when I worked in the fashion industry in Osaka, Paris always seemed to be calling to me, and I traveled there constantly for work. Of course I knew
then that it was the absolute epicenter of taste and style, but I feel as though I was always meant to be coming here in this new way,
on my journey from the tradition of clay, towards the always reinvigorating world of French beauty!”
“I’ve been inspired by all my travels, both physically around the word; and through time, with my sympathetic imagination.
When I go to Egypt, I’m not just visiting the modern nation. The ancients speak directly to me through their creations, transcending language and
distances. With my work I’m simply replying in kind, using the universal language of art.
I feel that everything I do is part of the great arc of human creativity.”
In Japan we were always taught that the best ceramic were unique works of art,crafted carefully by hand and with the utmost attention to
nature of the medium.
I cherish that approach and create each work with that idear in my mind. But at the time, I knew that moving to New York word allow me
total freedom of expression. Ultimately, my work is a realization of my total experience; high fashion and humble material, cultures of the past,
and the living pulse of today.”
“My ultimate goal is always elegance, the sense that something couldn’t be any other way.
This is feeling comes from everywhere, and from nowhere, it’s timelessness and timeliness, forever , and today!
It comes from balancing the elements;fire,earth,and air, and from music, art, and love
It requires sophistication with passion, a personal vision with a sense of the universality of humanity.”