Etsuko Ichikawa – Vitrified 5418 (diptych)
Dimensions: 36 x 51″
Media: glass pyrograph and pigment on paper
Etsuko Ichikawa’s work integrates her experience not only as a powerful woman artist, but also as a visual poet who uses the natural element of fire as her medium. Ichikawa is from Japan, where nature has always been inspiration for artistic expression. When the Fukishima nuclear explosion occurred in Japan, it hit Etsuko hard. Her homeland was damaged–burned–by man made, fabricated technology. Nature had, in fact, wrought destruction upon technological “advancement”.
Ichikawa then adopted this narrative in her work, embracing the concept of “burning” such as had happened in Fukishima, into her own artwork. She had previously worked with internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, and had mastered the art of glass. She developed a special technique she deemed “pyrograph”, in which she draws on cotton paper with burning glass. The glass lights the paper on fire, due to its heat, and Ichikawa embraces the resulting drawing as her art.
Ichikawa’s pyrographic drawings have been exhibited at museums throughout the world.
-Tonya Turner Carroll