Neither record nor exploration, the 44 photographs in Yoko Ikeda’s Monkey Puzzle come together to form an imaginary world loosely based on commonplace, even banal, subjects. Made in locations as far-flung as Utrech, Kortrijk and Aga Town, these highly evocative images are at once ominous and inviting, uncanny in their ability to coax the unexpected from the known.
Born in Kanazawa City, Yoko Ikeda now lives and works in Tokyo. She was the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Museum of Art Purchase Award. Ikeda’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Japan. Monkey Puzzle, the artist’s first Western monograph, is richly printed on matte Japanese art paper, limited to 500 hand-numbered copies and bound in cloth.
“Photographs are sometimes referred to as as ‘fossils of light’, but it has occurred to me that Ikeda’s photographs are less like fossils, and more like precious stones.” – Kazuhiro Yamamoto, Senior Curator, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Art