He questions his self and his position at any particular time, "Somewhere in Asia. An abundance of people. A dusty wayside. Normal means of expression, words, has dissipated with the dust. People can die at any time and return to the earth."
During this period of introspection, he presents a vocal performances, Wordless Sound, which marks a turning point in his form of expression.
The inception of "River Plan", his project which utilizes the entire region of the Tama River.
He holds a solo performance of Water Piano, using the water's surface as a keyboard. His performances related to water grow in number.
He complies his recent string of activities and publishes the art magazine P.M.2. In it he cautions that material civilization has accelerated to the point of a "floating of goods". He offers the equation: "culture succeeding that of things = Post Object Culture"
A leg injury is the start of a two and a half month hospitalization. After leaving the hospital with cane in hand, he performs Waving Road. "...dynamic transitions between Ikeda's optimism and pessimism..." Kazuo Nagao, critic, Hougaku no Tomo (Traditional Japanese Music magazine)
An invitation, extended from 1984, to once again participate in the Hinoemata Performance Festival. A cross shaped trench is dug into a sandbank in the middle of a river and performs the transmitting Earth-Up-Mark.It is hailed as a new form of expression that exists somewhere between "image" and "object".
A one man show at the Natsuka Gallery in Tokyo. Noted in the catalog, "...galleries and art museums will cease to be the dwellings of privileged art mythologies. They will instead draw attention to the community by becoming a 'perspective space'. The space, through presentations of 'matter and mankind', will help one again a premonition of the future."
He participates in the "Yokohama/Seoul Contemporary Art Exhibition" at the Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery. Dialogue, as expressed through his performance, marks the realization of his art exchange program between Japan and Korea.
Through the art exchange program he presents a Seoul performance of Action Textile, which is created from local soil and water. The leg injury from 1985 causes intense pain the following day.
Yokohama and Kohoku-ku approach an Ikeda on crutches to help with their Art Event. The result is his installation of a Water Mirror in the front garden of Okurayama Memorial Hall.
This "soft installation" is the first of many future ones at various locations.
Franklin Furnace, an established performance space in New York, informs him that his performance proposal is one of ten chosen out of a hundred applications.
During the "Environmental Art" exhibition at Iwakuni Kintai Bridge, Ikeda excavates a huge scale wide V shape into the riverbank and performs Waving Surface.
He receives a fellowship grant from the Asia Cultural Council. There follow performances in Montreal and Ottawa, Canada. On the way to New York, a step at Niagara Falls; gushing water spray, a mist rising upward, localized rain falling. This circulation that occurs in one instant, just one part of the panoramic scene, gives birth to the image "With Water as a Planetary Network".
The Water Mirror project is presented in New York. During the performance at the Franklin Furnace located in south Soho, aiming to use the total area of the space, Water Mirror is installed. Water from the Hudson River and East River is brought in one blended. The necessity of "alternative networks" spouts out New York's underground.
He establishes the "Seoul- Tokyo- New York" Art Project and begins work on plans for a joint exhibit. Taking "proposition from the East" as a theme, the exhibit of the invited artists from Korea and Japan, "Eight Individuals from East", opens in Seoul. Ikeda writes, "One more line is drawn on the earth."
During this time, his piece Earth Drawing is presented. One hundred pages of canvas are buried in the banks of the Hang River. The workings of the rain water and soil are recorded onto the canvas. These "events of the earth" are read in performance. "...this work links Tokyo and New York and in a manner of speaking, is a magnificent conception totally beyond the imaginable, of comprehending the front and back of the earth at the same time..." Yeong-Jae Kim, Art World, Seoul.
The Tokyo program of his "Seoul-Tokyo-New York" Art Project, "Rejuvenation from the East", opens. During this exhibit of eight Japanese and Korean artists, Ikeda presents three volumes immersed in a shallow, rectangular pool of steaming water, Individual, Nation, Earth. He poses this question to the Japanese and Korean viewers, "Where do we make our starting point?"
The purpose of the accompanying symposium "Art Orientation", is to closely examine the role and place of art in a changing society. He is continuing work on the Art Project.