Leiko Ikemura, Brave Girl in Orange, 2022 / Courtesy the artist
Leiko Ikemura: Motion Of Love
Jun 24 – Sep 24, 2023
Museum de Fundatie
Zwolle, The Netherlands

Motion of Love is Leiko Ikemura’s first institutional solo exhibition in the Netherlands and presents a body of work, which collectively reflects the artist’s engagement with material, poetry and notions of space. The exhibition takes its title from the artist’s experience that in essence we are all connected. Expanding on this sentiment, Leiko Ikemura creates her own universe, inhabited by girl- and animal-like hybrid figures, concerning life and death, femininity and nature. Motion of Love brings together work from the 1980s to the present in varied materials: bronze, terracotta, glass, paintings, drawings, film and photography. The diversity of materials attests to the interdisciplinary nature of the artist’s practice, informed by her itinerant travels and belief that art is in a constant process of becoming.

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The artist’s large-scale landscape-like paintings reflect on the season’s principle of continuous change and repetition, “It’s not about portraying any place. But we are part of the landscape, and we are landscape as well. Because when I’m really close to your face, I start to see mountains, and lakes. We can find landscape everywhere, and this inspires me. Also my memory inspires me, so when I start to make drawings, or make a certain movement, it can end up being a landscape. I like the rhythm of the landscape, it feels like waves. The earth undulates, always changing. It takes thousands of years, butt that’s the way it is. It changes. That attracts me. I don’t paint objective mountains, or lakes. What I do is my act, because we have undulating rhythms in our selves. We are all cats, and landscapes, and girls”. (Leiko Ikemura, catalogue Motion of Love).

In addition to the exhibition at Museum de Fundatie Zwolle, bronze sculptures by Leiko Ikemura can be seen in the sculpture garden of Kasteel het Nijenhuis in Heino / Wijhe. One is the Usagi Greeting (2023), one of Ikemura’s iconical motifs. Her hybrid creature with rabbit ears and a human face acts as a symbol of universal mourning, which she first created in 2011 in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, and the subsequent reported birth defects in animals. By questioning cycles of creation and destruction Ikemura shares through this image her concerns for the future of our planet at a time when natural habitats are increasingly threatened.

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