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Dark and Complex: Art by Yusk Imai

A mixed media image of a bull composed on multiple imagesTake Control, mixed media on canvas


Yusk Imai is a self-taught visual artist who is currently based in Berlin. The artist’s mixed-media artworks are dark and complex, usually depicting animal forms made from human elements, or vice versa.


Each of these works carries a certain dream-like quality, particularly in the ways that the images seem to shift, growing more complex or apparently changing their meaning entirely with multiple viewings. Trying to figure out each individual element of Imai’s works causes the viewer to lose track of the original image. I rather enjoy this ambiguity as it adds a level of intense interest to the two-dimensional plane.


A mixed media artwork with various cut fragments of imagesGirl with Unicorn, mixed media on canvas

The artist’s older works frequently take the form of black and white illustrations, not unlike the works of Karina Eibatova or Joni Belaruski. Imai has also created a large outdoor mural in the Netherlands, as well as several indoor installations that take the form of circular mandalas of the artist’s ambiguous style.  


An ink drawing of a skeleton fighting with various other imagesUntitled, ink on paper


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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