Asia Week 2023: celebrating Ippodo Gallery NY's 15th anniversary
Terumasa Ikeda (born 1987) is an innovative lacquer artist who fabricates shimmering mother-of-pearl designs ingrained into the surface of wood in the raden technique. Ikeda’s idea is strikingly modern; the high-tech motifs that transform the surface into an electronic interface bridge the worlds of classical and contemporary lacquer.
Where once humans worshiped the divine, the virtual world now reigns supreme. Terumasa Ikeda's futuristic expression is a search for handmade beauty in an increasingly industrialized world.
Experiencing the natural beauty of Japan,
And admiring the cultures and music of the world,
I encountered decoration.
In every civilization, the decorative arts reflect its power, society and aesthetics.
They represent its history and the development of wisdom that separates us from nature.
When we look at great artworks and the legacy of the past, they appear shrouded in sanctity.
Continuing the traditions of the past while searching for an unknowable future,
I want to capture images that express our times as I move forward.
----- Terumasa Ikeda
He (Shinya Yamamura) has instilled in Ikeda not just an extraordinarily high level of manual skill and devotion to total perfection but also the freedom to build on these qualities and open up the way to startling new episodes in the long history of lacquer in Japan.
----- Joe Earle
Through his unique methods, animated designs, and technical wizardry, Ikeda is the Zeshin of our time and should equally delight a Western audience with his first New York show.
----- Deborah A. Goldberg, P.h.D.
In this modern day, is there a shared visual language?
The visual language of raden, which began as ornamentation and opulent treasures part of the Shosoin Repository in the 8th century, historically projected images of kachōfugetsu, “the beauties of nature.”
Ikeda sensei's raden inlaid lacquer box is the convergence of traditional technique and contemporary sensibility. Cut mother-of-pearl in the likeness of numerical patterns adorns the exterior of the pitch-black urushi lacquer, glimmering like a digital screen. Though raden (螺鈿) is a traditional technique, Terumasa Ikeda manages to present a contemporary innovation inspired by the LED displays of the modern age.
Looking back at one of the great wonders of the ancient world, Terumasa Ikeda's hypermodern raden technique bridges past and future.
Inlaid mother-of-pearl replaces stone walls, reimagining the Roman architecture in the context of lacquer.
Ikeda, who earned his B.A. and M.A. from the Kanazawa College of Art, was drawn to the city as Kanazawa is considered the historical hub for lacquerware in Japan. Under the tutelage of lacquer master Shinya Yamamura, Ikeda trained in the mother-of-pearl inlay technique’s traditional and highly technical aspects. As a student, Ikeda’s experiences in Nepal fostered a deep appreciation for craftsmanship and everyday handmade objects. The vibrant and complex wooden architecture and the culture of making that included every generation of the family from elder to child sparked inspiration inside Ikeda. The Nepalese encounter pushed Ikeda to question the parameters of craftsmanship as an age-old method of interpersonal communication.