Hisae Ikenaga works with everyday objects. She alters them to provide alternative meanings and uses. In her series she tackles different issues, that is, she confronts industrial versus craftsmanship, she humanizes objects, she utilizes global objects - objects that are purchased in multinational chain stores. She manipulates and assembles their parts in different ways to create new opinions about everyday-life circumstances -, and finally poses potential genetic anomalies in mass-produced objects.
In “Football pitch metric system”, she measures different spaces in relation to other spaces or things. The references used have nothing to do with the established decimal metric system. In “Multifunctional” she transforms pieces of furniture by adding parts of other pieces of furniture, resulting in multi-purposed objects. Lately she has worked on pieces that reproduce the production of tubular metal furniture. This body of work reflects on the border between design and art as an everyday object. Irony and absurdity consistently play a key role in her work.
Duchamp is key in Ikenaga’s work. He is the foundational father of the appropriation of manufactured objects, and this is very much present in the Mexican artist’s series with furniture. Ikenaga deconstructs them and re-arranges their parts giving them an anthropomorphic aspect, or even transforming them into an instrument for artistic participation. Her reflection around the object leads to an artisanal production of elements which reference nature, using distinctly artificial materials. Ikenaga’s practice is not exclusively ludic or melancholic. Impregnated with the futile and transitory, which are taken from Japanese art, her different series seem to participate in a fluctuant way in both motivations.
Hisae Ikenaga (Mexico, 1977) studied at Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado La Esmeralda in Mexico City, broadening her education at the University of Art and Design of Kyoto. In 2003, she studies a Master’s Degree on Theory and Practice of Contemporary Visual Arts at the Fine Arts Faculty of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She has had solo exhibitions in Matadero (Madrid, 2011), La Casa Encendida (Madrid 2009), Praxis International Art (New York, 2011) and has participated in shows in Germany (Kreativquartiee, Munich, 2014), Mexico (Museo del Chopo, Mexico City, 2011), Hong Kong (Para/Site Art Space, 2009), United States (Praxis Gallery, NY, 2008), Japan (Prinz Gallery, Kyoto, 2001), among others.
She has received numerous awards, like the First Prize in Generación 2008, Obra Social, Caja Madrid, Spain; Award in the I Bienal Azcapotzalco; the Foreign Studies Prize in Kyoto by CENART, 2000; and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Biella, Italy.