Kazha Imura


The following pages feature self portraiture by Japanese photographer Kazha Imura. While the self-taught artist has no training specifically relating to visual arts, she was influenced by her father who is a three-dimensional artist. She has a background in music having specialized in flute while studying at a college of music. Music has the power to translate emotion in audible form, so it’s no surprise that she is able to radiate strong emotions through her self-portraits.

She adds drawings to her images by painstakingly scratching designs into photographic paper using a  small pin, which she refers to as drawing the light. The process can take anywhere from several days to a few months depending on the size. The addition of these incredibly detailed drawings add story and depth to the already thought-provoking portraits.





Originally, I started to use the technique of pin scratchings to draw doodles on to the photos which would be discarded. Compared to drawing which is adding ink and colors by brush, pencils and pens, the act of scratching is childish, and very primitive just like children are drawing with their finger on the sand as if they are marking their trace and I recognize this is also the act which can present our subconscious, physical memory, and our instinct.”




Through photography she questions reality and explores the power of subconscious. The emotive, mysterious qualities of her work reflects her inquisitive nature and thoughtful personality, especially in regards to her thoughts on viewing human form through pictures.


“I think for photographer, their own body can be only others in that they can never see their body through the view finder. The image surpassed man and woman,  exceeded individual character, It's looks only just a human.”


Since 2001 she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Japan. She continues to explore new mixed media techniques, including recent handmade three-dimensional work for Wearable Art / Movable Art vol.3 exhibition at Calo Bookshop in Osaka, Japan.