Norio Imai, TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE, 1976 Speaker, Amplifier, Open reel tape recorder, Endless tape ©Norio Imai

Norio Imai, TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE, 1976 Speaker, Amplifier, Open reel tape recorder, Endless tape ©Norio Imai Photograph|Akio Takimoto


Two speaker units with diameters of 20 cm each, bonded face-to-face, are hung from a ceiling. Both are connected to tape recorders playing endless tape, a format of open reel tape, emitting sounds of heartbeats. The vibration of the speakers’ diaphragms resembles the pulsations of a heart. However, the sounds of heartbeats from one speaker are different in rhythm and tone than that from the other, and they intertwine while shifting. This kinetic sound sculpture is placed at human chest height. Tags attached to the speaker cables indicate the dates of each of the recordings of heartbeats: “APR.18, 1975” and “SEP.17, 1976.” On the wall behind the work hangs Portrait/All mine (1976), which shows the face of Imai aged 30. This portrait hints that TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE (hereinafter referred to as HEARTBEATS) is also his portrait. If so, why does it emit two different sounds of heartbeats? When Imai himself stands in front of Portrait/All mine, which is printed on a mirror, his face on the mirror exactly overlaps with his past face. Overlap between images related to different times is common to both works.

From Tomotaro Kaneko “Other faces, other pulses: Norio Imai, Two Heartbeats of Mine

Japanese Art Sound Archive: Norio Imai, TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE, 1976

February 20th-March 9th, 2019 +1art

Norio Imai, Portrait / All mine, 1976
Norio Imai, Kenji Uematsu, Saburo Muraoka, From The Party, 1975
Norio Imai, 6/8 Time Score, 1976
Norio Imai, Shadows of Memory-106 / Violin, 2013

Text|Norio Imai / Tomotaro Kaneko
Talk|Norio Imai / Tomotaro Kaneko
Sound Recording|Eisuke Yanagisawa
Photograph|Akio Takimoto
Leaflet Design|Tadao Kawamura

Norio Imai, “For example, on eyes and ears”, 1974
Tomotaro Kaneko, “Other faces, other pulses: Norio Imai, TWO HEARTBEATS OF MINE”, 2019

Norio Imai Biography

1946 Born in Osaka
1965 Joined Gutai Art Association (participated in every Gutai Art Association exhibitions until 1972 when the group broke up)

Selected Solo Exhibitions
1964 ”Testimony of a 17-Year-Old”, Noonu Gallery, Osaka
1966 Solo exhibition, Gutai Pinacotheca, Osaka
1980 ”Norio Imai – Rectangular Time”, Gallery Kitano Circus, Hyogo
1982 Creation of “Time Stones 400” in front of Shin-Osaka Station, Osaka
1992 ”Sphere of Time” and “Sphere of Humans” monuments for Kansai Science City, Kyoto
1996 ”Back & Forth – Norio Imai / White Space 1964-1966″, galerie 16, Kyoto
2001 Creation of “From Here to Here” on platform of Tenmabashi Station, Osaka
2002 ”Norio Imai – Time Mandala”, Studio Earka, Osaka
2005 ”Norio Imai – Daily Portraits of a Quarter-Century”, Musohkan, Hyogo
2008 ”YEBESSAN – Norio Imai ‘Alter Ego Techniques'”, Atelier Fushikaden, Hyogo
2009 ”Norio Imai – The Inside and Outside of White”, Kaede Gallery, Osaka
2011 ”Norio Imai – Thoughts on the Frame”, LADS Gallery, Osaka
“Norio Imai – Frame In”, CAS, Osaka
2012 ”Norio Imai – Beyond the frame”, Gallery PARC, Kyoto
“Norio Imai – My Days at ‘Gutai University'”, Seian University of Art and Design, Shiga
2013 ”On the Piano”, Galerie Ashiya Schule, Hyogo
2014 ”Norio Imai Retrospective – Reflection and Projection”, ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka
“Perspective in White”, Galerie Richard, New York
2015 ”Norio Imai: Time Collection”, Yumiko Chiba Associates Viewing Room Shinjuku, Tokyo
“Norio IMAI, (Part I) Shadow of Memory / (Part II) White Event”, Galerie Richard Paris, Paris
2016 ”White Event × moving images 1966-2016″, Yumiko Chiba Associates Viewing Room Shinjuku, Tokyo
“Norio Imai Retrospective – TIME IN SQUARE”, ARTCOURT Gallery, Osaka
2017 ”Cairn of Sounds”, +1art, Osaka
“Imai Norio – origin of the blank”, ART OFFICE OZASA, Kyoto
2018 ”Norio Imai: Materirl Ecstasy”, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp

Selected Group Exhibitions (1960-70s)
1964 ”14th Gutai Art Exhibition”, Takashimaya Department Store, Osaka
1966 ”10th Shell Art Award Exhibition”, Wins First Prize, Shirokiya Department Store, Tokyo / Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto
“From Space to Environment”, Ginza Matsuya Department Store, Tokyo
“Nul Negentienhonderd vijf en Zestig” (“Nul 1966”), International Galerie Orez, Den Haag
“Trends in Contemporary Art”, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Annex, Kyoto
1967 ”5th Biennale de Paris”, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris
“1st Sogetsu Experimental Film Festival”, Sogetsu Hall, Tokyo / Yasaka Hall, Kyoto
1968 ”Contemporary Space 1968: Light and Environment”, Sogo Department Store, Kobe
1970 ”Exhibition at Expo Museum of Fine Arts”, Expo Museum of Fine Arts, Osaka
1972 ”This Accidental Co-action as an Incident”, Cafe Condor, Osaka
“Image Expression ’72”, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto
1973 ”Kyoto Biennale – Art from Art Groups”, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto
“Experiments with Sound Devices and Flying Musical Notes”, Gallery Pete, Osaka
1974 ”Impact Art / Video Art ’74”, Galerie Impact, Lausanne
1975 ”The Party”, galerie 16, Kyoto
“8th Exhibition of Contemporary Plastic Art: 50 Artists Contemporary Art Show”, Daimaru Department Store, Kyoto
1976 ”Expression in Film ’76”, KBS Laserium Center, Kyoto
“Contemporary Artists of Japan: Through the Lens of Duchamp”, Gallery Pete, Osaka / Institut Français du Japon, Kyoto


Past Programs→