Anri Ikeda

Kyu Yamakano
Photo by Gu Kenryou
Curator’s Text
Title: 《Storytelling》

Hundreds of thousands of thin, skin-like textures are carefully layered on the surface of used furniture and clothing to create life-size sculptures. The furniture and uniforms were all actual objects that were used in this factory building, where large machinery such as industrial looms were produced. These objects, as well as old clothes and personal belongings of people Ikeda met during his research in Fujiyoshida, are covered in these semi-transparent cocoons. The thin "skin" that forms the surface is individually handmade from silicon molds of the hands and feet of the people who live in Fujiyoshida and who have contributed to Fujiyoshida’s textile industry. As if to echo the actual handprints that would have slowly accumulated on the surfaces of these used objects and spaces, the skin represents the history of the many craftsmen and employees who once worked or visited this factory site.

Ikeda says he creates these sculptural ghosts, or “remnants of loss,” so as to create closure for the individuals who helped in his production. These stories are personal and withheld from the viewer who, in an ironic gesture, "listens" to the various remnants of the factory ruins as he or she steps through the black, leaf-like skin on the floor. As a visitor these stories are forever untold – but sometimes art’s significance lies in the opportunity for the viewer to witness the quiet process and find a larger story within it.
Artist Profile
Anri Ikeda
photo by Junpei Hosoda

Anri Ikeda

Anri Ikeda (b. 1997, Fukuoka, Japan) studied at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, Sculpture Department, and also at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris as an exchange student. Currently based in Chiba, Japan.
Ikeda collects objects used by people, such as old clothes and furniture, and skin molds. Interviewing people about the memories of these objects, she creates sculptures, installations, and performances themed on each of the interviewee's “narratives.”. The colors of clothing and furniture fade and become worn out over the years and begin to take on a physicality that aligns with the habits and smell of people who had worn or used them. Just as the skin’s turnover where our dead skin cells fall to show the renewed skin cell, the internal and external cells in our body consume, transform, and renew every second and every day, repeating the cycle of birth and death. Ikeda's practice explores the inevitable relationship that forms between the body and objects; from her own experience of “losing her body” Ikeda speaks to us from a space where she confronts a lost existence and attentively observes what we discuss, recall, and imagine.
Ikeda is winner of the 2022 A-TOM ART AWARD and was one of the artists-in-residence for the Sono Aida #Shinyurakucho Artists Studio 9th Period.

Cooperation: Everyone in Fujiyoshida who cooperated in the production of this work