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Yukimasa Ida

Totori, Japan 1990


Yukimasa Ida (Japanese, b. 1990) is a promising contemporary artist known for his innovative approach to portraiture and unique artistic style where he navigates the realms of abstraction and realism while evoking a sense of alienation. 

Through his works, Ida seeks to evoke a sense of estrangement in viewers, aiming to challenge their perceptions of the world. While his approach often involves distorting figuration and emphasizing assembly, the aesthetic he develops is more formally driven than thematically focused. His sculptures and paintings adhere to the principles of shape and color theory, with thick layers of oil paint that offer sculptural qualities, and his bronze ‘heads’ bearing marks that resemble the forceful impact of a palette knife. 

At the core of Ida’s artistic practice lies his concept of “ICHI-GO ICHI-E,” which translates to “a once-in-a-lifetime moment.” According to Ida’s concept, in this ever-changing world, events, people and things disperse, yet are all unknowingly connected, shaping the world today. Ida’s work focuses on gathering these “once-in-a-lifetime“ encounters and visualizing them on canvas based on his perceived reality. Each individual, existing in both the past and present, carries their own unique story, and it is through Ida’s art that these stories find visual expression.

Ida completed his Master’s degree in Oil Painting from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2019. His distinctive artistic vision has been quickly recognized through notable auction highlights. Most recently in March 2023 his piece Picasso, 2019 achieved a record breaking sale price of USD $408,904, surpassing the estimated value by 225%, at the SBI Art Auction in Tokyo. Similarly, King of Rock, 2019 fetched USD $357,011, surpassing the estimate by 326%, at Sotheby’s in June 2021. Furthermore, Ida is set to have solo institutional exhibitions in Japan, titled “Panta Rhei – For as long as the world turns.” This traveling exhibition marks a significant milestone in Ida’s career, with the first exhibition scheduled to open at the Yonago City Museum of Art, on July 22, 2023, followed by a subsequent showing at the Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art from September 30, 2023.

Installation view, Yukimasa Ida, “Here and Now,” Mariane Ibrahim, 2021 Courtesy of New City Art,
Profile photo: Yukimasa Ida. Courtesy of Shin Inaba/Artnews Japan.