The human body has long piqued the interest of artist Yusk Imai, who expresses this regard in the unique painting project Exoskeleton. His hands, arms, legs, and shoulders are covered in various textures that resemble reptile scales, brushed metal, and feathers. The flesh serves as his canvas. The blackout-style tattoo trend we’ve recently praised is evocative of Imai’s precise handling and solid black painting. His work is temporary because it is made using water-based markers and acrylic ink, unlike those tattoos.
The majority of the time, exoskeletons are found on insects, which use them as an exterior skin to protect their bodies. Imai’s initiative is based on this idea, as the name would imply. He added, “My objective is to develop a second skin for a human body, a protection, another layer,” in an interview with Hi Fructose. The artist found this difficult because he usually works on more traditional surfaces. He said, “Unlike my paintings, I cannot twist, create, invent, or do anything with the body.”
Body painting has influenced Imai’s general artistic style, despite being a challenging task. It falls under the category of study. When I paint in a body, I discover a lot about the human anatomy, he thought. “I observe how the ink flows and alters the overall composition as the subject moves, changing the behavior of the lines.” He used the information to inform his paintings on canvas. “I paint the shapes better because of that. The bones and muscles are in my mind. To me, it serves as a method of study.