Manabu Ikeda: Flowers from the Wreckage
Manabu Ikeda, 予兆 Foretoken (detail), 2008, pen, acrylic ink on paper, mounted on board. Collection of Sustainable Investor Co., Ltd. (Kagura Salon). Photo: Yauhide Kuge.

Manabu Ikeda: Flowers from the Wreckage

Audain Art Museum, Whistler, BC - June 24 - Oct 9

by Christine Clark

Manabu Ikeda was born in 1973 in Saga, Japan, and currently lives and works in Tokyo. He will be on-site at the Audain Art Museum during this exhibition, where he will set up a studio space in the upper gallery to begin work on his newest drawing. Ikeda earned his MFA in design from Tokyo University of the Arts and has a large online following. He is well known for his highly technical pen-and-ink drawings of fantastical worlds caught in the balance between order and chaos. Inspired by ukiyo-e, a style of art from Japan’s Edo period, as well as anime and manga, Ikeda’s work is often concerned with the conflict between forces of nature and the lives of humans, plants and animals struggling to survive.

Flowers from the Wreckage will be Ikeda’s first major exhibition in North America, featuring more than 60 works selected by curator Kiriko Watanabe from collections around the world. The pinnacle piece is an astonishing pen-and-ink drawing titled Rebirth. The work took Ikeda three years to draw during an artist residency at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin, and it is his response to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Watanabe writes: “At first glance, viewers recognize the natural beauty depicted in his work. As we step closer, we recognize thousands of tiny details, layers of visual messages, actions and playfulness culminating in his expression.… Viewers are often mesmerized by the tremendous amount of work that goes into his creation: it is an earth-shattering visual experience that takes us on a journey of ambiguous times and places.”

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