IKEDA Manabu Exhibition "Focus"(TOKYO)

8 December 2010 - 15 January 2011

Mizuma Art Gallery presents “Focus”, an exhibition by IKEDA Manabu from December 8, 2010.

Ikeda had his first museum solo show at The Obuse Museum & The Nakajima Chinami Gallery (Nagano) last year. He has also participated in various exhibitions, both domestic and international. After his solo show, Ikeda will spend one year creating in Canada with the support of the international training program of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, further raising expectations.

This time, viewers used to the artist’s grandiose drawings (History of Rise and Fall, 2006, Fortoken, 2008) will discover smaller artworks, 22 by 27 cm in format.

Ikeda says that “[until now,] it was interesting to add small portions one after the other, gradually expanding outwards, but [he] then though the universe resulting of the reverse motion, one you won’t find in big works, must also have its interest of its own,” leading him to a new challenging creation.

This time, rather than inviting viewers to “peer in the details of one large drawing”, Ikeda created his new works by “focusing on small sections to draw the viewers’ imagination to unfolding universes”. This idea is at the origin of the exhibition title: “Focus”.

Gate, one of the new pieces, depicts a square opening suddenly breaking the ocean’s surface, and inside which cars run highways among the glittering building lights of a city’s nightscape. By looking at the lighthouse and fishermen we imagine this frame is a bank and as the work’s title suggests, a curious “gate” between those two contradictory worlds of the ocean and the metropolis.

Where does that ocean lead? What kind of universe unfolds beyond that city? No answers are to be found on the surface of the picture, yet our imagination seems ready to take flight in front of those unknown landscapes.

Nature is a recurrent theme into Ikeda’s works, he who enjoys himself fishing and hunting for insects since he was a child. In the exhibited group of works, the artist embodied the contradictory faces nature alternately shows to Humans, creating whole new worlds of stories.

Ikeda makes use of the round, diminutive tip of his pen with ultimate precision to trace one line after the other, as if he were carving the surface with a sculpting knife, creating a delicate three-dimensional feel. This addition of minute strokes is a reason for his being often called a miniature painter. Yet, more than his excellent technique, it is his ability to each time draw to life a different universe from his imagination full of humor that overcomes us.

Ikeda’s works teach us the pleasure of the simple act of “looking”, forgetting the course of time.

This exhibition, like a collection of standing out short stories, will leave you with profound lingering memories.

On the occasion of the publication by Hatori Shoten of Ikeda Manabu’s first monograph, we have the pleasure to offer you the opportunity to purchase the book before its official release in mid December.