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The Fluidity of Glass - Etsuko Ichikawa: Traces of the Molten State
Etsuko Ichikawa, Working process of making pyrographs, 2007. Photo: kp studios.

BELLEVUE, WA.- This fall Bellevue Arts Museum is excited to present Traces of the Molten State by emerging Seattle-based artist Etsuko Ichikawa. On view from October 4, 2008 through March 8, 2009, this solo exhibition is comprised of two large-scale, site-specific installation pieces featuring Ichikawa's signature "glass pyrography" in conjunction with glass and video components. The two installations will be on display in the Museum Forum and the Pilchuck Glass School Gallery.

With her unique “glass pyrograph” technique, Ichikawa is able to “draw” with molten glass – utilizing fire and smoke emitting from the liquid glass as charred traces of her fluid movements over paper. “Through my work, I am interested in investigating what lies between the ephemeral and the eternal. Moment and memory, absorption and evaporation, light and shadow,” states Ichikawa. “[Glass pyrography] is one way to eternalize a fleeting moment, while leaving evidence of the material origin and imprinting a process of its transformation in the work.”

Both site-specific installations will offer a unique impression on the viewer that conforms to the two distinct exhibition spaces. The light and airy Forum will feature the large-scale Traces of the Molten State, comprised of glass pyrography and video projection, while the darker and more intimate space of the Pilchuck Glass School Gallery will house Walk with Mist, a room-sized installation of glass pyrography, hand blown and etched glass and video projection.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Etsuko Ichikawa has resided in the US for the last decade. Ichikawa received her BFA in Painting from the Tokyo Zokei University in 1987, and later attended the Tokyo Glass Art Institute from 1991 - 1992. Her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the US and internationally, and can also be found in public and private collections.

This show is part of Bellevue Arts Museum’s ongoing exhibition series, Material Evidence. Material Evidence addresses the fertile convergence of materials and ideas in giving both form and meaning to the artwork. The Northwest artists featured in this series share an intense dialogue with the material, which in their hands is celebrated as both physical means to an imagery and, at the same time, the very subject matter of the often labor intensive process of creation. Etsuko Ichikawa: Traces of the Molten State is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum.

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