The Nordic Watercolour Museum begins the 2019 art year with a solo exhibition by Leiko Ikemura. She was born in Tsu, Japan. However, Ikemura has lived in various places in Europe since the 1970s. Her artwork could be described as nomadic. Having voluntarily emigrated from her home country, Ikemura trained in the western European artistic tradition. She has studied and lived in Spain, Switzerland and Germany. Her work has been shown world-wide.
Atmospherically, Leiko Ikemura’s art is naturally reminiscent of surrealist Odilon Redon, German expressionists and Louise Bourgeois’ trendsetting work. But Ikemura has found her own magical style – dreamy, poetic and vibrating with subtle metamorphoses as if nothing were fixed, as if all things were constantly in the process of becoming, of transforming. Over time she began to return to her Japanese roots, where the soul of nature thrives in daylight and the darkness of night. Ikemura’s enigmatic work portrays strange beings, animals, plants, minerals and architectural details that melt together and gradually morph as the image emerges. Figures with ethereal bodies evolve in a dreamy, nature-filled setting. People become plants. Plants become animals. Animals become amorphous figures and abstractions. From abstractions, new life is born, and everything begins again. A characteristic Japanese sense of the spirit of nature, which inspires everything, echoes throughout Ikemura’s artistic world. Transformations are a primary focus in everything she creates.
In the exhibition we present the breadth of Leiko Ikemura’s fascinating imagery and feature her watercolours, tempera paintings and ceramic sculptures.