GALLERY crossing is pleased to present "MIMIC," a solo exhibition of new works by Yoko Ichikawa. This is her third solo exhibition at our gallery in for the last two years.
Born in Osaka in 1985, Yoko Ichikawa graduated with a major in lacquer work from the Department of Crafts, Kyoto City University of Arts. After going out on her own, she worked as a "Shippi" artist in Kyoto, and has now relocated to Takashima City, Shiga Prefecture, where she continues to produce lacquer works. During her university days, she developed an interest in "Shippi" techniques, which she sublimated into a unique form of expression through research and experimentation. Shippi, which involves creating vessels from animal skins and coating them with lacquer, and letting them harden, is a craft technique with a history dating back to the Asuka period, but which almost disappeared from history at one point. Ichikawa creates her works against the backdrop of the history of Shippi, which she personally unraveled, and overlaps the act of sewing, which are the roots of her own craftsmanship, with her own sense of life and death. The works are unique in that the skin is not completely covered with lacquer, but retains its texture. The concept of her works is to reconstruct the membrane that once encased a three-dimensional life as a new entity that contains something by sewing it back together, soaking it in the sap of the lacquer tree, and letting it harden. The process of transformation of the skin itself, which can be seen through the lacquer coating, is the core of her work.
The exhibition will feature a variety of one-of-a-kind Shippi boxes, which Ichikawa has created over the years, including organic boxes with wavy curved surfaces, patchwork boxes, and boxes with legs reminiscent of small animals, under the new title "Mimic." The term "mimic" refers to mimic animals and is also the name of the treasure chest monsters that appear in video games. Boxes and wicker baskets have fascinated people since ancient times, and there are many legends and YO-KAI(Japanese folk monster) folklore throughout Japan in which "boxes that must not be opened" appear. The Shippi boxes that Ichikawa creates have their origins in the Shippi boxes of the 8th century Nara period, which have been preserved as part of the Shoso-in treasures, but Ichikawa's unique techniques give them a softer, more warm, and inviting form. The works, which go beyond an artistic interest in the Shippi technique and incorporate contemporary interpretations, have the appeal of tools, yet are cloaked in mystery unique to boxes, inviting gallery visitors to enter as if they were mimic monsters. In addition, this exhibition will also showcase new wall hanging pieces.
A gallery talk by the artist will be held at our gallery on Saturday, July 8, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.