It appears that our very own Imai Hisashi has made his first foray into the world of visual arts. We knew he was an avid patron of the arts and art collector, as evidenced by the photos he displays on his blog of the many pieces he has displayed in his home, but now, it seems, he's actually drawing pictures. Funny in a way, since Sakurai, with his illuminated kanji, eerily expressive cartoon faces, minimalist yet evocative big-eyed cats, and meticulously lifelike swarms of sperm, has hitherto been the band's most accomplished visual artist. (Fun fact: according to his biography in the Love Me book, Sakurai won several awards for his drawings when he was in elementary school.)
However, now it seems Imai is determined to upstage him! Imai will be exhibiting three works as part of the "Otogibanashi no Sekai" ("Fairytale World") exhibit at the Yokohama Romankan ("Romance Gallery") from Saturday, March 26th, to Sunday, April 10th. The exhibit will be open every Friday-Monday from 1PM-6PM.
The works to be displayed will be used as designs for the downloadable mobile phone graphic schemes Buck-Tick is using in their Love & Media Portable site charity campaign. Unlike the other works on display at the exhibit, Imai's works will all be for sale by silent auction. Bids can be made at the exhibition or by email. The starting bid is 5000 yen, with bids increasing in 500 yen increments. Bidding will close at 6PM on April 10th, the last day of the exhibition, with all proceeds to be donated to the Japan Red Cross disaster relief fund. So, all you fans who were wondering what to do with your refunded Razzle Dazzle tour ticket money, or who just happen to be lucky and rich, unlike most of the unlucky, poor world, bid away, knowing safely that your money will be used to (hopefully) send food and diapers to homeless babies up in Tohoku, or life-saving medicine to sick, elderly folks evacuated from the irradiated regions of Fukushima.
To send in a bid by email, send a message to this address with the following info:
1. The title of the work you wish to bid on
2. The amount of your bid
3. Your name
4. Your address
5. You phone number
6. You email address
Bidding opens at 1PM on Saturday, March 26th.
The works to be exhibited can be viewed here.
If this sounds to you like somewhat late in life for Imai to have taken up a new hobby, well, it has to be said that music is probably still his most shining talent...he may have to keep working if he wants to beat Sakurai at kick-ass doodling. But his concern and dedication also counts for a whole lot.
Edit: Buck-Tick have added photos to their Love & Media Portable Download campaign. To reiterate, anyone can download these things, only suckers who use Docomo may still have to have a registered, paid identity. What do I know, I use SoftBank...the worst service but the cheapest rates, and they have SMAP as their official posterboys.
Also, Buck-Tick's Twitter is still full of boring repetitions of the same old news.