Blue Codes 1991
Iwaki Art Museum, Fukushima, Japan
July 20-25, 1991

Performance by Ichi Ikeda
Kojin Nishido
Theater Critic



I stared in wonder at Ichi Ikedašs piece created from water. A large ten square meter rectangular wood frame was devided into three sections, the two end sections filled with water colored a vivid blue. The middle section was filled with red-brown clay, creating a color contrast that immediately caught my eye. Canvas pages with codes were submerged in each of the sections. Occasionally air would pass through a pipe under the water, causing the water surface to tremble. As these ripples clearly reflected onto the walls, the water transformed the environment into something alive.
This figure of the creator, Ikeda, was not to be found. But just by viewing this installation, I could clearly envision his hands scooping the water, sense him turning over the pages and hear his voice intensify along with the ripples.
I first experienced Ikeda's work in 1984 at the Hinoemata Performance Festival. Since that time, 'water' has been the ongoing motif of action used in Ikedašs performance. With just one part of his process before me, I can recall his whole progression:
Water Piano, Water Mirror, Voice of WaterŠ. This group of works, as joined with an ecological aim, heads Ikeda towards a plan for the earth.
Those who casually view Ikedašs pieces may find them spectacular. But those of us who have closely examined and have been effected by his work over a period of time perceive different nuances, sense different moods and gain yet different concepts. For me, it is not an overstatement to say that his 'presence' was felt stronger, the essence of his per-
formance made more distinct by the absence of his actual person.
(extract from STUDIO VOICE, October, 1991)
On opening day of the exhibition, Ichi Ikeda did hid performance.

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