2015 Soka Art Center
Mitsuhiro Ikeda graduated from Musashino Art University's School of Art and Design. During his student years, he received the silver prize in Ueno Mori Art Museum VOCA Exhibition and the outstanding prize in the New Art Competition of Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to his awards, his works have been collected in many places, including Toyota, Dai-ichi Mutual Life Insurance, Nagoya City, UBS Art Bank, Vangi Garden Sculpture Museum and others. He is one of the most prominent new generation artists in Japan's contemporary art.
This new series "Portrait of Place" comes from Ikeda's experience of self-imposed exile journeying into the depths of Europe. He meandered between different countries, and finally chose his most familiar creative tool—painting—to execute his diary-style fragmentary stories. His on-foot art is created by transforming a tightly drawn canvas on a wooden frame into a mirror structure and recording in a hand-drawn-style the occasional collision of ideas that occur during the "Portrait of Place" journey. By focusing on a cold plod of wilderness, an abandoned old building, or a fragmentary scrap of wood, he gradually decomposed the sequential order of geometrical points, lines and surfaces.
Departing from the look of previous landscape sketches and field collages, "Portrait of Place" conveys the redeployment of ready-made objects or waste materials. Through a structural series of reflection and criticism about material culture, it uses a display of colours, shapes, compositions and other unknown conditions to define a hybrid way of creating art. Ikeda shows a high level of psychological density in the face of real life subject matters. This is because he does not define his creation by material or method. Rather, he allows his work to slowly emit the lonely and quiet emotional tension of the environment in order to bring out a collective consciousness that people can recognize by experience.
An innate attention to detail emphasizes an artist's self-developed ability to remodel relationships. Ikeda subverts the categorization of objects dominant in Western art history and uses an attitude of observing still objects to produce the artistic logic of portraiture. This conceptual questioning and challenging subvert the previously sublime or commemorative spiritual symbolism of Western portraiture. He uses cutting to produce "Informal" fragments and linking scenes and objects between the fragments, and refuses to accept the influence of Art History. He does not use themes and does not even require complete reproduction. The picture simultaneously presents the soft-edged landscape outline and the hard-edged thematic line structure and restores the details of the travelled sceneries in a confined screen.
Ikeda's works expose the inadequacy of artistic forms, creative effects, methods or mediums. They discard all disguises to reveal how the visual perspective creates the physical facts, thereby enabling the viewer to make direct contact with the theme. Ikeda has said that he wants his work to express the exploratory process of human being's reflexive inner experience as they come face to face with reality and the external world. This process involves an ecosystem established by various rules. In addition to this state of order, it simultaneously contains a state of chaos that is sufficient to annihilate everything else. He seems to be drawn to places endowed with this unique atmosphere. His abundant depiction of abandoned old objects and neglected everyday materials reveals a visual production against a consumerist society. This artistic construction method and format media of raw and rustic materials appears to approximate the concept of “Arte Povera”. This is because they are both non-rational and convention-rejecting artistic standards seeking to redefine the language of art.
"Portrait of Place" uses "Art Colonies" as a technique and is at one with a Utopian faith. It crosses the barriers that exist between people and between countries. The footprint of travel becomes the penmanship of creative painting. The different trajectories of drawing become the unique character and nature of the different locations or travelled experiences. Ikeda's selection of materials, creative methods and image sources do not end with the completion of his works. On the contrary, through their experience of mutual organizations, they bequeath a portion of the rights to the audience's taste, thereby expanding their own travel footprints, and continue the track of exploration on the surface of the painting. The accumulated outcome of this process promotes a flexible readable form and constitutes the main significance of the work. A complex pictorial space which has abandoned pen-stroke production, "Portrait of Place" represents the spiritual landscape of our age.
Exhibition Executive SEAN