Leiko Ikemura (b. 1951) is an extraordinarily versatile artist whose work encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and even poetry. No hierarchical boundaries can be drawn between the genres; they revolve around recurring themes and motifs and always complement each other.
In her works, Ikemura creates beings that represent a moment of fusion between man and nature and are ambivalent and ambiguous in this – figures of transition, in intermediate states of existence.The solo exhibition at the Georg Kolbe Museum is devoted primarily to Ikemura’s sculptural work. The show features over 30 sculptures as well as selected paintings and drawings, from a creative period spanning the last 30 years. In addition, there are numerous works created only in the last year. Thus, the exhibition allows a concentrated view of the outstanding formal language of the artist. Her works in ceramics, bronze, and glass attest to her vital engagement with the traditional genre of sculpture and its materiality.
Born in Japan, the artist has lived in Europe since the 1980s, initially in Spain and Switzerland, before settling in Berlin. She knows how to amalgamate perspectives of the global East and West in her work, creating a powerful visual language that both seems familiar to her viewers and is capable of irritating them.