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Leiko Ikemura

Her paintings and objects revolve around themes of transformation and fusion of man and nature. The hybrid-like creatures and mythical beings are always depicted in shadowy form, frozen in a state of becoming.

The outstanding feature here is Ikemura's ability to merge two very different poles - European and Far Eastern cultures. Her silent landscapes and the mostly female hybrid beings are often expressions of indeterminacy and of the depths of human nature. Ikemura's sculptures are mostly made of bronze and terra cotta or glass.

For the festival, however, she is showing a three-dimensional paper work. For it, she added to one of her best-known series of resting heads in the bright white material papier-mâché. The unsmoothed white surface with delicately sculpted facial features quietly hints at the inspiration behind the work - the mythological creature Kitsune, an ice fox that takes the form of a beautiful young woman. In the object Kitsune Woman, this is particularly beautifully demonstrated - a fragile form, a touch of paper. Time seems to freeze. Everything comes to rest. Breath fills us, like life.

©Leiko Ikemura - Photo Haus des Papiers


Leiko Ikemura was born in Tsu, Japan in 1951.

She moved to Europe at the age of 21 for studies in literature and later painting in Seville.

She has received numerous awards, including August Macke Prize, 2009; German Critics Prize for Visual Arts, 2001.She taught at the UdK Berlin, 1990-2015.

Worldwide exhibitions, including: Kunsthalle Karlsruhe; Kunstmuseum Basel; MCBA Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne; Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Weserburg - Museum fuer Moderne Kunst, Bremen, among others.

Her works are in collections of Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris; Kunstmuseen Basel, Bern and Zuerich; Kunsthalle Nuernberg; Museum Kunstpalast Duesseldorf, among others.

©Leiko Ikemura - Photo Haus des Papiers

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