Japanese-Swiss artist, Leiko Ikemura, presents a selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and photography in her first UK exhibition. Ikemura has selected 50 works that span three decades of her career. Her art appeals to our imagination with its childlike purity.
The exhibition’s dominant theme is the connectivity of all aspects of nature, be it human, animal, plant or mineral, in an eternal circle of life. Through her fantastical figures and primeval landscapes, Ikemura explores fragility, transience and slow evolutionary change – choosing to address environmental issues from an empathetic, global perspective.
Usagi, meaning ‘rabbit’ in Japanese, is a recurrent mystical motif in Ikemura’s work, representing rebirth, fertility and renewal. Her bronze sculpture, Usagi Kannon (Rabbit Bodhisattva of Mercy), will stand in the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture Park from autumn 2021, providing a place of refuge to visitors wishing to shelter beneath its generous skirt.
The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with the Sainsbury Institute to coincide with the Japan-UK Season of Culture.
Supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Henry Moore Foundation, Japan-UK Season of Culture and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.