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Return to: Ichi Ikeda

Artist Statement


First of all, I am glad to introduce myself to you as follows: it is often said that perhaps more than other artists, Ichi Ikeda consistently uses water as his medium, creating a whole new language with this uncontrollable substance.

We the Peoples are to realize why Water,
which is so full of life to us, is our medium
for moving the borders, in everyday customs,
histories, various cultures and so forth,
simplifying to a profound exchange between
human being and human being.

When I was selected as one of 12 artists worldwide to collaborate on a 1995 art calendar in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, I added an image and a poem titled, "The United Waters". As shown in "The United Waters", we can recognize that 'water' might be our medium for promoting creative exchange between people regardless of cultural, national or religious differences. Also, we can imagine that 'water' is one of Earth's most precious resources which must carry forth to the people living on the future planet. Focusing on these two concepts based on 'water', I, myself have developed sustainable WaterArt projects aimed at the future.

"This artist has the power of connecting one thing to another, a total receptivity to the mutable future without being stuck in one place, and the power of metamorphosis according to the land and sites. He works just like water, which he endlessly adores. Let me say this, though I risk being misunderstood: I have become convinced, through my involvement and observation of the last three years, that Ichi Ikeda creates "flow," not "artwork."
(Takashi Serizawa, Guest curator of the Cycle Art Gallery Kaseda 1997-8)

Actually, I have a keen interest in creating a new flow between Art, Environment and Community and just such a 'flow' of WaterArt has expanded beyond various boundaries. By way of illustration, I have developed a WaterArt project entitled 'Arcing Ark', which connects various cities in Asia; not only Kaseda City & Mannnosegawa River in Japan, but also Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, Bangkok, Yogyakarta and so on. The Arcing Ark project encourages local people to find clues for creating collaborative partnerships between communities.

In other words, I make sure WaterArt Projects are effective in creating new cycles in more chaotic situations through the combination of Art and Water. Different from the centripetal forces such as centralized culture, these projects are based on vital forces that cross borders and expand forces that form links -- a new cycle of the human environment.

In working on several long-term projects in this multi-cultured world, I have reached the conclusion that one of the means of exploring culture in the 21st century must be a "Culture based on Water". In fact, this century is often defined as "The Era of Water", as opposed to "The Era of Fire", which symbolized hard exclusive struggles for rapid development during the 20th century. Undoubtedly, "Culture based on Water" might be the most effective medium for those who are pursuing possibilities for co-existence and collaboration beyond serious differences lying in the world.

Currently, I am aiming to explore the potential of WaterArt projects hidden in various sites and to develop interactive collaborations amongst these WaterArt projects. This innovative presentation of the "Culture based on Water" might be just an expanding flow. Hopefully you'll join us in this alternative flows through a link of WaterArt projects.

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