To read "incident in the Earth"
'Eight Individual From East' Seoul Exhibition
Dong Soong Art Center, Seoul, Korea
July 18- 26, 1989
Ikeda always stand in the position for decipering the secret messages from the earth
| On an embankment of the Hang River in Seoul, he dug out two cubes shaped holes and each was filled with 50 pieces of canvas, soil and grass. He kept them there for about 45 days. The two sets of canvas were imprinted with │incidents in the earth▓ by the rain fall, and picked up and exhibited in the gallery. He peeled the top crust off his earth, grass and canvas cube revealing the first canvas │page▓, the soil impregnated 'Earth Drawing'. He then performed a reading of imprinted vestiges, these 'events of the earth' Eight 'pages' were 'read' and then in the gallery.
Director, Dong Soong Art Center Gallery (Seoul, Korea)
┼@┼@Two gigantic peaces of seemingly muddy substance were brought into the mighty big marble structure of Dong-Soong Art Center in Seoul, and placed on the immaculately clean floor of its gallery. Any one could tell it was a dramatic contrast.
|burying 100 canvases into the river bank of the Hang River, Seoul|
|excavating the "cubes" out of the ground after about 45 days|
|Ikeda Swept Dust off Performance Cliche
Curator(Korea) of the "Eight Individuals From East 1990"
Entering the exhibition hall in Dong Soong Art Center, no one could imagine sharing an opportunity to decipher the secret code of the Earth.
Seemingly nothing is predicted. Ikeda's two cubes of "Earth Drawing" had been moved from the place they were buried for a month and a half. Standing there in the gallery, the cubes, in a sense latent images of the Earth, were displayed as if installed amongst the works of Korean artists; Kun-Yong Lee, Hyo-Sung Pang, Eun-Soo Park and Jae-Kwon Kim and Japanese artists; Tomoaki Ishihara, Kiyoshi Kawashima and Tadashi Tonoshiki.
Nothing seemed to happen until Ikeda finished his ordinary introduction regarding the preparation and installation of the project, the Earth Drawing.
No sooner were the soil and grass swept off the surface of the top canvas than Ikeda's "reading" began a monotonal sound producd by means of plastic tubing played by Ikeda's technical associate.
The Reading by Ikeda, an apparently far from recognizable spell, overwhelmed the spectators in the gallery as an oracle may once have or perhaps because the spell was reminiscent of a calling from the core of the Earth.
In one way like an outcrying, concentrated vigorous spirit, in another way, like a hymn in a Kabuki drama, the reading delivered a man's devotion to the dispensation of nature. Simply splendid!
Truly speaking, as an art critic and video photographer, I enthusiastically enjoyed Ikeda's performance.
Above all, Ikeda's scale impressed me. His idea spans from Seoul to New York by way of Tokyo, and his preparation for "1989 Ikeda Project" took at least one and a half months.
┼@Next, Ikeda's unified and coherent approach to the theme, which is the secret message of the Earth, struck me. As a Korean, I feel the Earth and nature not as objects to be surveyed, but as the friendly surroundings of human beings. Therefore, we Koreans are apt to be satisfied with just watching the self-sufficient circulation of nature and the Earth.
Thirdly, the enchantment or spell of its unrecognizable message shocked me. Although unable to decode Ikeda's vernacular code, the message seemed to reach the spectators' inner mind as a mother understands her baby's whimper or one has a premonition of a far away earthquake.
In the end, just videoing his performance was to make a wonderful video work. In and out of the Earth Drawing, the outcrying and tube music, Ikeda's enthusiastic facial expressions; the parts of the project were so well matched that it was as if the performance was made to be a video project.
In conclusion, the shocking project by Ikeda, with his refreshing ideas, well organized procedure, careful preparation and wonderful performance, surely beat any other performance. What is more, the Earth Drawing, like the rotation of the Earth, is not ended.
----- August 11, 1989 Seoul
|installing two "cubes" in the gallery for the exhibition|
|Ichi Ikeda swept the soils
and grasses off the surface
of the top canvas.
And he began to read
"events of the Earth"
through the vestiges
left on the canvas.
|Earth Drawing read over by Ichi Ikeda's performance|