Uemon Ikeda – Racconti paralleli – 11.12.21

On the occasion of the 17th Day of Contemporary Art, the personal exhibition Uemon Ikeda. Racconti paralleli, curated by Alice Falsaperla. During the 9th edition of AMACI (Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani – Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums) in 2013, Ikeda had created a work in the MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo – National Museum of XXI Century Arts) square that, halfway between installation and performance, focused on the theme of virtual space.

For this new solo exhibition, La Nuvola di Via Margutta will host the environmental installation, specially set up according to the Gallery’s structure, together with a series of watercolours and drawings made on paper. The book Racconti paralleli (Parallel Tales), from which the exhibition takes its title, published by Bordeaux Edizioni, will contain a collection of Ikeda’s unpublished writings, edited by Marta Bianchi. Discussing the book with the author will be the President of the Italy Japan Foundation, Ambassador Umberto Vattani, and historian and art critic Alice Falsaperla. The publisher Dario Cimaglia of Bordeaux Edizoni will also be present. In the preface, Ambassador Vattani defines Ikeda as “profoundly Italian, while remaining staunchly Japanese. This dual nature provides him with complementary points of view and unsuspected moments of happiness”.

In fact, Uemon Ikeda is considered one of the most important living Japanese artists in Italy. «Fortunately in Rome I lived in a period that allowed artists to carry out a type of non-stylistic research. For me art is a very serious thing, an ontological topic. When I create it in the concrete world, I am contaminated by its social legacy, I translate its history into a decorative or applied form”, explains Ikeda. The process of aesthetic transposition by the artist occurs naturally, with the use of pigmentation and vegetable glue, like “the dust from the Fuji volcano which, when it rains, slowly melts”.

The image becomes allusive and allows itself to be created by the value of a stain or by a sudden yielding of the hand on the rice paper or by a sign of the ink as a new support for the work. «With a mixed thread of wool and silk, which is his signature, the artist weaves a personal concept of room and leads us into a “space-time tunnel”, made of lines, shapes and aerial geometries that disintegrate and aggregate for illogical returns. We are faced with meticulous and complex structures, in which the indications of depth are continually diminished, in favor of an ever-renewed mediation between author and spectator.

This is a possible correspondence between the artist’s work and his mind, whose characteristic, similar to an ‘open algorithm’, lies in the absence of pre-established commands. According to Ikeda, the exhibition space is a void, filled by an engaging and synthetic network; an “empire of the senses” that goes beyond seeing and leads the public towards other forms of perception of the work.

The following mode of rupture, inaugurated by the historical avant-gardes and taken up by the neo-avant-gardes of the post-World War II period with studies on aesthetic forms, social positionings and political-cultural strategies, for the artist coincides with the three spheres of value, such as Beauty, Ethics and Truth, which contemporary art must address”.
Alice Falsaperla
Photograph by Domenico Flora