Leiko Ikemura

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Leiko Ikemura (イケムラレイコ, Ikemura Reiko, born August 22, 1951 in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese-Swiss painter and sculptor.


Leiko Ikemura studied at Osaka University from 1970-1972. She then left Japan to study in Spain from 1973 to 1978 at the Academia de Bellas Artes in Granada and Seville. In 1979, Ikemura moved to Zurich to live and worked there for 4 years. The first of her mature paintings developed around 1980. The first solo exhibition in a public institution took place in 1983 at the "Bonn Kunstverein", in Bonn, Germany. That same year, she spent as an artist in residency in Nuremberg, ("Stadtzeichnerin" upon invitation of the city of Nuremberg). During the next several years, Ikemura had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries and public institutions, such as: the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel (1987), Melbourne International Biennial 1999, in the Japan Pavilion. In 1985, she moved to Cologne. Her interest in working with sculpture began in 1987. In the 1990s, the female figure crystallized as the main focus of her work. In 1991, Ikemura became a Professor for Painting at the "Universität der Künste" (University of fine Arts) in Berlin.

Leiko Ikemura lives and works in Berlin and Cologne.


  • 2013: JaDe-Prize of the JaDe-Foundation (Japan-German-Foundation)
  • 2008: August Macke Prize of the city of Meschede and the Hochsauerlandkreis Meschede, Germany
  • 2007: Iserlohn Art Prize, by the Citizens Foundation of the Savings Bank of Iserlohn, Germany
  • 2002: The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, Artist Residency, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2001: "Deutscher Kritikerpreis" Critics Award for Visual Arts, German Association of Critics, Berlin, Germany
  • 1988: Prize of the Jury, International Triennale for Original Graphics, Grenchen, Switzerland
  • 1983 - 84: "Nuremberg Stadtzeichnerin", Artist residency grant by Faber-Castell & the City of Nuremberg
  • 1982: Art prize of Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1981: Prize of the Fountation for Graphic Art in Switzerland, ETH Zuerich, Switzerland
  • 1981: Grant of the City of Zuerich, Switzerland
  • 1981: Grant of the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation. Federal Bureau for Culture of Switzerland

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