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 Etsuko Ichikawa  

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Lived/Active: Washington / Japan      Known for: Glass, fiber painting, installation, video art

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Etsuko Ichikawa
An example of work by Etsuko Ichikawa
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Etsuko Ichikawa

Artist Statement:
My work is a continuing investigation of what lies between the ephemeral and the eternal.  Moment and memory, absorption and evaporation, light and shadow are some of the triggers that inspire me and relate to my work. My “glass pyrographs” are made by drawing hot molten glass, which is one way to capture and eternalize the immediacy of a moment, while my floating installations and time-based work are about ever-changing states of mind.

Some of the mediums that I work with are glass, fiber, video, and most recently sound.  The format of my work varies from small two-dimensional work to large-scale installations or performance-base work.

Born and raised in Japan and having lived in the United States for over the past eighteen years, I recognize my dual cultures as defining influences, and spirituality as my inspiration.

I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, by parents who are interested in both art and craft.  My father is a tailor, and many of his clients are artists or craftsmen.  As a child, I was always thrilled when my father took me to the artists’ studios for fittings - I can still remember the smell of oil paints at a painter’s atelier.  I went to art school from junior high school through college, and received a BFA in painting from Tokyo Zokei University in 1987.

I didn’t make any art for several years after getting my degree.  Instead, I focused my search for spirituality.  It was an interesting period of my life, and has been reflected deeply in my work.  After returning to art-making in 1991, I began to study glass blowing on the small island of Noto in the Sea of Japan.  I was so attracted to glass as a medium that in 1993 I moved to Seattle to pursue it.  I worked for Dale Chihuly as a studio assistant, and later as an exhibition coordinator for Asia.  This work supported me financially as I got settled in the United States.  Since 2003, I have been working as an artist full time.

In 2005, I had an opportunity to show my work at Art Basel Miami with the art collective SOIL.  That opened up many doors for me, and beginning the following year, my work was shown in galleries throughout the United States.  I have been involved in many of my own overseas commissioned projects, museum exhibitions, artist residencies, and national publications.

I maintain a studio in Seattle and enjoy my life with my best friend and husband, Michael, who is also an artist.

1993-2000   Pilchuck Glass School summer sessions, Stanwood, WA
1991-1992   Tokyo Glass Art Institute, Kanagawa
1984-1987   BFA in Painting, Tokyo Zokei University, Tokyo

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2012   Tracing the Light (working title), Waterhouse & Dodd, New York, NY
2012   Trace, TASTE at Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
2011   NACHI - between the eternal and the ephemeral, University of Wyoming Art     Museum.
2009   Moment/Memory, Function+Art, Chicago, IL
2008   Traces of the Molten State, Bellevue Arts Museum
2003   Shadow Installation, Kirkland Arts Center Gallery, Kirkland, WA
2003   Kokoro, In-Between, Gallery Mohri, Tokyo
2003   Kokoro In-Between, ArtStage, Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland, WA

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2012   Elles: Featuring Northwest Women Artists, SAM Gallery, Seattle, WA
          Spring Exhibition, D’ART Gallery, Hong Kong
2011   Seattle as Collector, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
          Bloom & Collapse, SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA
2010   Winter Haiku, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2009   Elusive Elements, curated by Kathleen Moles, Museum of Northwest Art, La     Conner, WA
2008   The East and The East, The Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan
2007   Postcards From the Edge, James Cohan Gallery, New York City
          Mark, Randall Scott Gallery, Washington D.C.
          START, PRISM Contemporary Glass, Chicago, IL
2006   Contemporary Sculpture, Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle, WA
          Hardline Organics, SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA
2005   Raw & Refined, curated by Jess Van Nostrand, Seattle Center, Seattle, WA

Selected Awards And Recognition:
2012   Individual Projects Grant, 4Culture, Seattle, WA (also in 2010, 2008, 2006, 2005)
2011   Nominated for The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, New York, NY
          Nominated for Freedom to Create Prize, Singapore
          Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New York, NY
          (for a solo exhibit NACHI at University of Wyoming Art Museum)
          National Endowment for the Arts, Washington DC
          (for a solo exhibit NACHI at University of Wyoming Art Museum)
          CityArtist Projects Grant, City of Seattle, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Seattle,     WA (also in 2008)
          New Glass Review, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
2009   Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, New York, NY
          Americans for the Arts Funding, Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia, WA
2008   Grants for Artist Projects, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA
          Media Literacy Scholarships, 911 Media Arts Center, Seattle, WA
          Special Projects Grant, Bellevue Arts Commission, Bellevue, WA
          Visiting Artist, Hot Shop at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA (also in 2005, 2004)
          Jon and Mary Shirley Glass Scholarship, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA
          EDGE Professional Development Program Scholarship, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA
2002   Visiting Artist, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle, WA
          George Tsutakawa Memorial Scholarship in Sculpture, Pratt Fine Arts Center,     Seattle, WA

2011   John H. Hauberg Fellowship Residency, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
           Visiting Artist Program, University of Wyoming, Art, Dance, and Theatre     Departments, Laramie, WY
2009   Jentel Artist Residency, Banner, WY
2003   PONCHO Artist-in-Residence Program, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA (also in     2002)

Selected Public And Corporate Collections:
Washington State Public Arts Commission
King County Portable Art Collection
Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington
Seattle City Light
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Sumitomo Corporation of America
Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong
Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo
Hyatt Regency, Hawaii

Public Commissions:
Frederickson Elementary School, Puyallup, WA
Covington Middle School, Vancouver, WA

Private Commissions And Collections:
In various countries including United States, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia

Selected Performance And Theatre Projects:
2010   FIREBIRD, Glass and Dance Performance, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
2006-2007   Cuckoo Crow, for Degenerate Art Ensemble, The Moore Theatre and Bagley Wright Theatre, Seattle, WA, and REDCAT, CalArts Theater, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Lectures And Related Experience:
2012   Lecture & Live Demonstration, Calty Design Research / Toyota Design Studio,     Newport Beach, CA
          Lecture, Gensler, (architecture firm), Seattle, WA
          Lecture, CollinsWoerman (architecture firm), Seattle, WA
2011   Lecture, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY
          Lecture, Cornish Collage of Art, Seattle, WA
          Lecture, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
2009   Live Demonstration, Chicago Hot Glass, Chicago, IL
          Panelist, Grants for Artist Projects, Artist Trust, Seattle, WA
          Lecture, Mithun, (architecture firm), Seattle, WA
2008   Lecture, DigiPen Institute, Redmond, WA
          Lecture, Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
          Guest Speaker, Art Table, Seattle, WA
2007   Panelist, Public Art Programs for City of Seattle, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs,     Seattle, WA
2005-2009   Member, SOIL Artists Collective, Seattle, WA
          Lecture, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
          Juror, Scholarship submissions for Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA
2004   Lecture, North Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA
1995-2003   Exhibitions and Projects Coordinator for Asia for Dale Chihuly, Chihuly Studio,     Seattle, WA

Information provided by Lisette Ruch.

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