Chazen Mural-in-Progress

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Japanese artist Manabu Ikeda

Japanese artist Manabu Ikeda sketches out another small section of the mural he’s creating at UW-Madison’s Chazen Museum of Art. At ten feet by thirteen feet, it’s a massive work, but the overall size is only a small part of the story. Every inch of the artwork is packed with tiny details, all painstakingly rendered in pen and ink. Ikeda’s piece presents a theme of hope springing from despair, and it combines elements that will be familiar to Madisonians with images that resonate with a global audience.

Ikeda has been working on the mural since spring, drawing in the Chazen’s studio lab and trying to complete a section of about three square inches each day. As an artist-in-residence, he opened his studio four days a week through the fall so that visitors could watch him work and ask questions. Take a look at some of the detail pictures and see if you can spot anything that looks familiar.

A major element is a vast, crashing wave, recalling the tsunami that devastated Japan’s Pacific coast. In the wreckage of this wave, look for a billboard from the Wisconsin Dells.

A major element is a vast, crashing wave, recalling the tsunami that devastated Japan’s Pacific coast. In the wreckage of this wave, look for a billboard from the Wisconsin Dells.

On one slag heap of smashed cars and buildings, a bright red Motion W peeks from the debris.

On one slag heap of smashed cars and buildings, a bright red Motion W peeks from the debris.

Published in the Winter 2015 issue

Tags: Arts, chazen, International, madison, Public service

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