Iida Shoji (1927-2019) was a main member of the Group GENSHOKU. During the period from 1968 to 1969 when “Mono-Ha” was born, the expression of Japanese contemporary art significantly changed from painting and sculpture to two-dimensional and three-dimensional. At this major turning point, Iida Shoji is very likely the key artist that influenced the birth of the “Mono-Ha”. Iida Shoji is a philosopher of art, and one of the enlighteners of Mono-Ha. He very likely inspired and prompted the epoch-making of the Japanese contemporary art theory.
The series of “Half & Half”, “Transmigration”, and “Paper” are the three important representatives of Iida Shoji. In 1968, Iida Shoji first published “Half & Half” at the exhibition, Trick and Vision. This work uses the principle of mirror reflection to achieve the effect of illusion. For a long time, paintings have presented three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional plane through the “Perspective”, so Iida Shoji used “Half & Half to raise the question of whether “Perspective” can also be described as an illusion trick confined to viewing. He attempted to surpass the “virtuality” of illusion tricks in artistic expressions and move on to present the “reality” of “existence”.
Works on paper after the 1970s, “Minimum” series and the “Surface of Earth” series use minimal colors and shapes to present the things in nature.
“As long as human beings have expectations, the relationship between self-hood and the world will continue to proceed in accordance with that degree of expectation. What should be understood at this time is that it is us humans, not the world, who hold these expectations. Therefore, we should limit our expectations and shrink it to its minimum.”
His works belong in the collections of M+ Museum, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum.