20.09.2023 #exhibition #kulturlxnews #visual arts

Hisae Ikenaga's first exhibition in Berlin

© Antoine de Saint Phalle

Hisae Ikenaga’s exhibition Industrial-visceral, presented by Nosbaum Reding Gallery, officially opened on 15 September at the Saarländische Galerie in Berlin. The artist’s work is being shown in the German capital for the first time during a high point in the cultural calendar, Berlin Art Week.

One of the main contemporary art events in the city, Berlin Art Week has attracted both professionals and amateurs from across the world since it was founded in 2012. This is one of the reasons why Kultur | lx chose this period to offer professional art galleries in Luxembourg—through a call for applications—the opportunity to present a monograph or collective exhibition at the Saarländische Galerie, Europäisches Kunstforum e.V. from 13 to 17 September.

The exhibition was officially opened by Jean-Paul Senninger, Ambassador for Luxembourg in Berlin, Reinhold Kopp, Chairman of the Board of the Saarländische Galerie, Thorsten Bischoff, Plenipotentiary of Saarland to the Federal Government in Berlin, Valérie Quilez, International Director of Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg and Alex Reding, Director of the Nosbaum Reding Galery, in the presence of Hisae Ikenaga.

Two rooms and two different atmospheres. The first part of the exhibition is a spacious open area that showcases the artist’s sculptures which combine artefacts and other creations displayed on shelves, echoing the functional design of the modern era. Recreating the atmosphere of a contemporary showroom that has taken a sidestep, the impeccable industrialised design of our muted interiors would appear to be contradicted by fragile handmade pieces that are carefully balanced, unique, accidentally organic shapes. The second, more cramped room, evokes a laboratory or industrial kitchen. The remains of food—such as tortillas and slices of bread and cheese made from ceramic—sit alongside what appear to be the anatomical specimens, all carefully placed in steel containers or test tubes, clinically clean. A good dose of surrealist humour underpins this incongruous combination of elements that remind us of what it was like to play with modelling clay as a child, yet now varnished and enhanced with an expensive glaze. At the back of the room, test pieces seem to have been preserved in formalin, as though a ceramics serial killer has decided to inventory earlier attempts and preserve them for the future. Full of black humour as it questions archaeological methods and interrogates our rational obession with classification, Hisae Ikenaga’s work is open and can be explored from several perspectives.

In addition to the exhibition, the artist also presented her work to the public on Saturday 16 September moderated by Hélène Doub (Head of Visual arts, Kultur | lx), drawing on the dynamic at play in this part of the city experiencing a surge of creativity. The Nosbaum Reding Gallery has also produced a special catalogue to accompany the exhibition which includes essays by Marianne Derrien and Laura Helena Würth, two art critics, one French, the other German.

This format, proposed for the first time by Kultur | lx in collaboration with the Ministry for Culture, the Luxembourg Embassy in Berlin, and the Saarländische Galerie in Berlin, aims to promote artists and stakeholders in the Luxembourg art scene in Germany and internationally through a network that is both commercial and institutional.


HISAE IKENAGA, Industrial-visceral
Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum e.V., Charlottenstraße 3, 10969 Berlin
U6 Kochstraße / Checkpointcharlie

13 September – 7 October 2023
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
During Berlin Art Week: Friday 12-9 p.m., Saturday 12 – 8 p.m., Tuesday 12-6 p.m.