Leeloo #01,2011, © Tomohide Ikeya/courtesy Micheko Galerie
Micheko is delighted to present new works by fine art photographer Tomohide Ikeya. The Japanese artist has continued to work very hard since his very successful exhibition at Micheko Gallery in the summer of 2010 and has now added stunning new photographs to his series „Breath“ and „Moon“.
Ikeya cultivates his passion for the sea and scuba diving. His personal photo projects are all connected to the (under)water world in a metaphorical sense. Ikeya photographs his models in „butoh“-dance postures or, more death like, semi-immersed in dark waters, where life embraces death.
Ikeya’s concept behind his work cycle „Breath“ is based on water as the element that donates life and energy. But too much of it turns the blessings we get from it into death and destruction. We realize how short the time is that we can manage without breathing and ultimately, how little control we actually have over the essential things in life. Tomohide Ikeya visualizes the essential strength of this element in his very own and visually challenging ways.
Ikeya’s work cycle “Moon”, which he elaborates alongside with “Breath”, has at first an unsettling effect on the viewer. Despite all aesthetic aspects of these photographs, the models are as pale as drowned corpses, discovered and documented after that the dark Tsunami has released them from his deadly grip. Here too Ikeya dedicates his work to the aesthetics of death and fugacity.
Ikeya writes about “Moon”:
The gravitational force of the moon creates high and low tide and has pushed evolution to begin. The sun symbolises „the birth of life“ and the moon means „rhythm of life“. Without the moon there would be no evolution.
When the moon shines at night, life and death blend in. The night has its role assigned by the universe. When the moon quietly shines over the sea, all life embraces the eternal course of time. Time cannot be disturbed or manipulated.
Hair, which remains long after a body has died and turned to dust, veils a body under the moonlight. In my work cycle, „Moon“ symbolises the human desire for life and hair represents the continuation of life beyond death.
Even though Ikeya had started “Moon” quite some time before the tragic earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, 2011, his images receive a new meaning in view of this catastrophe that has fundamentally stirred and changed Japan’s society.