ABOUT TENJIN IKEDA

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Tenjin Ikeda

b. 1968

Tenjin Ikeda studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY and The Art Students League.  A resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, he has taught in afterschool workshops throughout New York and helped students at The Door, a center for adolescents, prepare for art school. Mr. Ikeda assisted Keith Haring on a mural project and worked for Richard Artschwager for six years.  He works primarily in relief printmaking using both linoleum and wood. 

“In the ancient Yoruba philosophy, Ifa, there is a saying that goes, ‘We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.’  Using images, ideas, and oral traditions, which have passed down for generations throughout the African Diaspora, this simple phrase has become a central theme in my artwork as well as my life.  Although my images focus on black themes, there is a universal story being told.  The stories of choice, struggle, joy, and determination whether they be happier moments in our experiences or tragic ones.  I want to leave a visual history from those who have been overlooked or whose voices have been silenced by the choices of others.  I believe in the power of creation the power that each one of us has to transform our destiny and the destiny of our planet and species.  I am a creative soul that must share his story with the rest of the world. “

WORKS BY IKEDA TENJIN