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Kazuto Imura Solo Exhibition

“The N-Lemma Posed by Compromise”


March 23 (Saturday) | 17:00-18:00


March 23 (Saturday), 2024 - April 20 (Saturday), 2024 

Wednesdays - Saturdays 13:00 - 18:00

(closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and National Holidays)



4-7-6 Shirakawa, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0021 JAPAN 

*car parking available in front of the gallery


Date & Time:



April 13 (Saturday), 2024 | 17:00-18:30


Kazuto Imura (artist) × Mika Kan (artist)

admission free | no reservation required

*Kindly note the talk will be held in Japanese language only.

tele portrait error

2024 | glass, aluminum, frame | 698 × 407 mm
© Kazuto Imura, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, photo by Yuki Kawanishi

KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY is pleased to present “The N-Lemma Posed by Compromise,” a solo exhibition by Kazuto Imura starting March 23, 2024.

Imura is an artist who has consistently pursued the motif of “mirror” with exceptional depth since he started his career as an artist in 2021. By taking a multifaceted approach to all elements related to the mirror surface, from obsidian excavated from ruins in B.C. to contemporary optical equipment and materials from all over Japan, he continues to comprehensively question the various problems posed by the question “Who am I?”

In this exhibition, his first solo show at KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, Imura will present his unique expression for the first time, which could be called something intermediate between glass, mirror, and photography. 

The word “dilemma,” as suggested by the prefix “di,” which stands for the number two, indicates the contradiction or difficulty one is forced to face when faced with two alternatives. In this exhibition, Imura uses the term “N-Lemma” coined by himself, to extract the myriad claims, facts, possibilities, options, and compromises that human society has held, to sublimate them into an exhibition.

“Only one knows one’s inner self, and only others can see one’s outer self. Mirror images and photographs are images of re-presentation of appearances, not themselves. In other words, there is no one who knows both the inside and the outside.” These are Imura’s own words, but when we look closer at the mirror, which has permeated our daily lives worldwide, we realize that it contains a very primitive question. 


Who am I? The dilemma is that only one can know one’s inner self, while one’s outer self can only be recognized by others. We cordially invite all to this exhibition, which will showcase Imura’s new expression confronting the complexity of contemporary society while delving into the motif of the “mirror,” which is said to have been a fundamental desire and extremely mysterious from ancient times in its own way.

“mirror in the rough 3928g”

“mirror in the rough 3928g”

2024 | glass, aluminum | H150 × W204 × D105 mm | © Kazuto Imura, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, photo by Yuki Kawanishi

“tele portrait square 450” (detail)

“tele portrait square 450” (detail)

2024 | glass, aluminum, frame | 481 × 481 mm | © Kazuto Imura, courtesy KANA KAWANISHI GALLERY, photo by Yuki Kawanishi

The N-Lemma Posed by Compromise

The world is full of information that is equivalent to “not saying anything.”

A conversation always concludes with the advice to “try as hard as possible to achieve the best possible balance for each person.” In addition to considerations towards life, rules, and environmental issues, we are also experiencing new units and reference values introduced by experts, as well as unspoken rules that simultaneously arise with platforms. We find it impossible to satisfy ourselves when we are surrounded by such vast arrays of choices that are more than just a dilemma.

As we gain knowledge, we realize our own ignorance. We fear that we will not be able to compensate for the unseen perspectives, and the distribution of possibilities with our imagination, resulting in the fear to speak easily. In order to assert one thing, one must avoid discrepancies by annotating more than the text, while eliminating the possibility of incitement to others at the same time. 

Overwhelmed by such a situation, I exhibit mirrors left with various traces. 
The mirror, born of compromise, is a quiet mirror that cannot even properly claim to be a mirror.

Kazuto Imura

Artist Profile

Kazuto Imura was born in 1990 in Kyoto, Japan. He received his B.F.A. from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2015. He completed his M.F.A. at Tokyo University of the Arts, the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art in 2017.

Only one can know one’s inner self, while only others can see one’s outer appearance. Mirror images and photographs are images of re-presentation of appearances, not themselves. In other words, there is no one who knows both the inside and the outside. Interested in this fact, Imura creates works on the theme of showing others the mirror that contains himself. He traverses materials and techniques such as optical devices, mirrors that do not reflect, magic mirrors, obsidian, and rotating liquid mirrors. He traces the transition of the relationship between humans and mirrors from contemporary science to archaeological perspectives such as mythology and rituals.

Recent major solo exhibitions include “mmmwm” (2023, Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Contemporary Gallery, Tokyo), “Æ/æ” (2022, MA5 Gallery, Tokyo), and “quaquaqua” (2021, DiEGO Omotesando, Tokyo).

Group exhibitions include “MATSUMOTO Architecture + Art Festival” (2023 and 2022, Nagano, Japan), “Endless Green Mountains 3: The Tang Poetry Road, a Special Exhibition of Works by Chinese and Japanese Artists” (2022, Zhejiang Exhibition Hall, Zhejiang, China), “Sense Island Sarushima Dark Museum 2021” (2021, Sarushima, Kanagawa, Japan).

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