9 NOVEMBER - 9 DECEMBER 2001
Ikasu, the title of Liga Pang’s installation for Rice Gallery is a Japanese word that means “to give life to”. This word embodies Pang’s laborious process of transforming dead, brittle bamboo into an exquisitely contoured sculptural form. Pang and four assistants worked continuously for an entire month to weave the mesh of bamboo twigs that makes up the installation’s delicate, room-sized structure.
To obtain the bamboo twigs for the installation, Pang and her assistants dismantled 150 large brooms of the type typically used in Japan to sweep outdoor gardens. Though it makes use of a common material, Ikasu is anything but mundane. Flexible but strong, fragile but rigid, the shaped curtain of bamboo mesh possesses a seemingly unearthly, understated grace.
Currently residing in Japan, Pang teaches master classes at the prestigious Sogetsu School of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. Though Pang’s teaching and her own work depart radically from the formal rules of this classical art, they retain ikebana’s spare elegance and profound sensitivity to the natural world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Pang’s work is informed by her intimate experience of several cultures. She was born in 1939 in Japan to Chinese parents, and at the age of eighteen moved to California, where she pursued a successful career in painting before returning to Japan in the late 1980s. Pang received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 1962. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries in Japan and America. In 1999 she designed the props, costumes, and sets for the theatrical dance performance Tale of Susano, directed by Japanese artist and film director Hiroshi Teshigahara.