Yoko Ikeda


IBASHO is proud to present the second solo-exhibition at the gallery of the female Japanese photographer Yoko Ikeda. The exhibition coincides with the launch of her new book ‘Contrepoint’, which is a coproduction of IBASHO & the(M) éditions. Like the book, the exhibition will be a showcase of Ikeda’s body of work.

Cheap transparent plastic umbrellas lying on the grey concrete; rather simple, mundane objects in one of Yoko Ikeda’s photographs. The image Ikeda has created of this scene, however, is poetic, fragile, almost ephemeral. She has the extraordinary ability to see the beauty in seemingly meaningless objects and to elevate them to beautiful precious subjects in her photographs. Her images show respect for every little element that forms our big world. Ikeda plays with shadows, colours, lines and textures that she comes across while moving through and observing everyday life.

Ikeda’s photographic methods are in a way akin to the practices of the famous Hungarian-born international artist László Moholy-Nagy who considered photography to be an autonomous artistic practice with its own laws of composition and lighting. In the 1920s he coined the term "New Vision" for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not.

By means of her camera Ikeda has created her own way of seeing and showing an outside world that one would normally not be able to see. Within Ikeda’s compositions there is often no reference point. The space is flattened and abstracted, the location is ambiguous. She experiments with unusual view points and focus. Ikeda searches for contrasts in form and light and makes use of unexpected framing.

Contrary to Moholy-Nagy’s stern, geometrical black-and-white photographs, Ikeda’s works contain lightness and humour. She is furthermore able to trigger the viewer’s imagination with her unusual images: one could associate the reflections of light on a dull, grey wall with some windows in an anonymous city in one of Ikeda’s photographs with comical legs in white trousers that stand and walk.

Ikeda’s latest artist book enables one to fully emerge in her playful way of looking at the world. Her body of work is ever expanding and versatile, resulting in this voluminous book with an alluring sequencing. The musical term ‘contrepoint’ comes to mind whilst flipping slowly through the book: although Ikeda’s images independently are already exceptional, the clever design of and pairing of images in the book by Akiko Wakabayashi has led to an elegant interdependence of Ikeda’s images resulting in an exquisite visual harmony.

Ikeda was born in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. She works and lives in Tokyo. She studied at the Research Department of Tokyo College of Photography. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Purchase Award and in 2016 she received the prestigious Higashikawa New Photographer Award. In 2018 Ikeda received the Alpa Award for her work shown at Photo Basel. Ikeda’s work has been widely exhibited in Europe, the United States and Japan. In 2015, the year that Mons was European Capital of Culture, her work was part of Regards de femmes in Maison Folie.

Artists: Yoko Ikeda

Also happening at Contrepoint