IMAI Hisae

Saturday, April 2, 2022 – Saturday, April 30, 2022

©︎IMAI Hisae

We are pleased to announce a solo exhibition of the work of IMAI Hisae, titled Ophelia, which is held from April 2nd to April 30th.
Following her 1950s debut, Imai Hisae drew considerable attention with avant-garde images expressing the literary world of her imagination, as typified by Ophelia. After a car accident threatened to take away her sight, she shifted to horses as a photographic subject, and her early work gradually became more obscure. This is the first exhibition to present her early masterworks, from Daydream (1956), shown in her first solo exhibition, to the Energy series launched in 1964.
The Third Gallery Aya is proud of our track record of showcasing underrecognized Japanese female photographers, including Yamazawa Eiko, known as one of Japan’s pioneering female photographers, and Okanoue Toshiko, a contemporary of Imai’s who is known for her striking photo-collages. Our goal is to contribute to the reappraisal and recognition of these important artists.

Imai Hisae


1931 Born in Tokyo, Japan
1952 Graduated from Bunka Gakuin
2009 Died


1956 The Newcomer's Award from the Photographic Society of Japan
1960 Camera Geijutsu Art Award
1969 Great Print Makers of Today
1971 Annual Award Show Silver prize
1978 Photographic Society of Japan Annual Award
2010 Japan Racing Association Award for Distinguished Service 2009 JRA Equine Culture Award

Solo Exhibitions

2022 Ophelia. The Third Gallery Aya, Osaka, Japan
1977 Le monde enchanteur des chevaux. Brussels, Belgium; traveled to Paris, France
1975 Lone. Takashimaya Osaka, Osaka, Japan
1971 Travel to the Horses. Shinjuku Nikon Salon, Tokyo, Japan
1963 Lone, Rose Party. Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo, Japan
1961 Model and North Wind. Gekko Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1960 Ophelia. Konishiroku Photo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1959 A Donkey, the King and Myself. Gekko Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Summer Memories. Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo, Japan
1957 Scenery of Mental Image. Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo, Japan
1956 Daydreams. Matsushima Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Selected Group Exhibition

2022 Paris Photo 2022 Online Viewing Room.
Photographer Imai Hisae x Beautiful Ink World. YOHAKU, Tokyo, Japan
2021 Paris Photo 2021. Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris, France
1962 NON curated by FUKUSHIMA Tatsuo. Matsushima Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1960 Contemporary Photography Exhibition 1960. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
1958 The First Exhibition of the Japan Women Photographers' Society. Konishiroku Photo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


2022 Hisae Imai. Kyoto: AKAAKA Art Publishing
1999 Champion/Taiki Shuttle.Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
1995 TAKE Yutaka’s 1000 won. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
1994 okai Teio. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
1987 Applause to Thoroughbred. Tokyo: Genkosha
1985 Symboli Rudolf. Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
1980 The Thoroughbred. Tokyo: Azuma Publishing
1977 Hippolatry: le monde enchanteur des chevaux. Kyoto: Shinshindo Publishing

Public collection

Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, NY
George Eastman House Collection, Rochester, NY
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Kawasaki City Museum, Kawasaki, Japan
Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Hokuto, Japan
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