Leiko Ikemura (イケムラレイコ Ikemura Reiko, born August 22, 1951 in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese-Swiss painter and sculptor.
It is often said that Leiko Ikemura’s work is characterised by the encounter of two cultures: it references Western art history, but the themes and formal vocabulary also immerse the beholder in the Japanese tradition, which venerates asymmetry, incompleteness, and ambiguity. “Imagination is the strongest force in my work”, says the artist, and it is precisely this exercise of completing something with one’s imagination that enables the viewer to enter into a dialogue with the Western tradition, which is oriented towards limits, an avoidance of ambiguity, and symmetry.
In her art, Ikemura attempts to elude rational control and to immerse herself and the beholder in sensual and emotional experience. The viewer seems to find himself in a kind of intermediate world, in horizontal landscapes with visually unlimited pictorial spaces, or in cosmic landscapes whose forms may be interpreted anthropomorphically – human creatures take on the shapes of animals, or trees or rocks metamorphose into human faces. The transitions are always fluid – in painting and sculpture, in landscape and in human portrayals.
Leiko Ikemura was born in Tsu, Japan. She studied Spanish literature at the University of Foreign Languages in Ōsaka and emigrated to Spain in 1972 to intensify her studies in Salamanca and Granada. From 1973 until 1978 she pursued painting studies at the Academy in Seville. After moving to Switzerland Ikemura left a lasting impression on the Zurich art scene of the Eighties. In 1983, the Bonner Kunstverein dedicated her works a major exhibition.
Leiko Ikemura lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.
This is just a short description of her life i found on the Karsten Greve gallery site, but there is much more to the work of Leiko Ikemura. Just take a look at some of her works and i hope you notice too that her works are a cross between the Japanese Anime figures and the watercolors by Marlene Dumas. The result is a personal and recognizable style. Ikemura is represented by the Karsten Greve gallery.