Leiko Ikemura
Light Face
cast glass
ca. 22,5 x 27 x 19 cm
ed. 1/5

Flashbacks – 16. Leiko Ikemura

23.12.2022 – 07.01.2023

From December 23, 2022 to January 7, 2023, BUILDINGBOX presents the glass sculpture Light Face by Japanese – Swiss artist Leiko Ikemura.


Emerging from the irregular surface of the glass is a face, with features barely hinted at; a tranquil, silent presence. Little details lend an echo of humanity to this recumbent head, which could belong to a sea creature dwelling in the mysterious depths, or a mythological floral being. The transparency of the glass lets the light shine through, giving rise to nuances and reflections that illuminate its yellow color, animating the three-dimensional matter and expanding its presence in the space. The artist has been working on reclining heads since the 1990s, exploring the theme by sounding out the expressive potential of various media and materials, including terracotta and bronze.


The sculpture is in Murano glass and sprang from the collaboration between BUILDING and the Venetian artistic glassmaker Berengo Studio on the occasion of the exhibition series BUILDINGBOX played host to last year, entitled From Sand – Artworks in Glass.

The work was presented for the first time at BUILDING in 2021, as part of the exhibition Leiko Ikemura. Before Thunder, After Dark, curated by Frank Boehm. On view from September 4th to December 23rd, 2021, the show featured an extensive overview of Ikemura’s oeuvre, with  a selection of 50 works created from the 1980s to the present.

Central to Flashbacks‘ investigation is the moment of the exhibition, here conceived as a medium, mirroring the relationships and dynamics generated between the work, the artist and the gallery space, which flow into the more complex sphere of that system of critical and aesthetic categories that are at the basis of BUILDING’s curatorial approach and programming.
An important focus of Flashbacks is also the catalogues published by BUILDING to accompany each exhibition. BUILDING’s strong focus on study and research, not only as a hub for the promotion of contemporary art but also as a publishing house, is evinced by the careful selection of essayists and texts included in the various publications.
The exhibition will provide an opportunity to think back to the highlights of BUILDING’s curatorial activity, while also looking ahead to the future of its programming. To look back at the recent past with gratitude to all those who have accompanied BUILDING to date, but also with a critical eye, in order to outline new coordinates with which to question the present and better orientate ourselves towards the future.

An open-door reinterpretation of its collection, through some representative works by the main artists promoted by the gallery, and of the curatorial and publishing activity carried out so far, presented in the spaces of BUILDINGBOX at irregular intervals and visible 24/7 from the window of via Monte di Pietà 23 in Milan.