“Rebirth” by IKEDA Manabu originated in the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster of 2011. The artist uses his expressive capabilities to depict in juxtaposition the continuously recurring existence of disaster throughout the world and to illustrate in a light and imaginative style the relationship between disasters and humanity.
Ikeda spent 10 hours a day for three and a half years working on the 13’ x 10’ creation using only pen and acrylics. His highly detailed penmanship meets dramatic, otherworldly visions that draw on the aesthetics of traditional Japanese painting in this massive image.
Rebirth is an inspiring work of art because it reminds us that catastrophes clear sometimes the way for drawing a line under the past and start over in a complete different fashion, reinventing ourselves by acquiring new skills or experiences.
Also the theme of the Tree of Life is dominantly present in this work of art. I have no clue if the artist consciously introduced it or if it’s a product of his subconscious creative drive. He told the Chazen Museum of Art “My goal is to faithfully express my view of the world in my composition, but I don’t intentionally depict detailed images,… because I see details when I observe things, rather than the whole, I find pen and ink to be the best tools to express how I see them.“
Throughout all of these motifs of seriousness and severity, Manabu represented the importance of humor in recovery.
You can find out more about this artist on his website
The site is in Japanese, but when you give a right-mouse-click, you can ask google to translate the page into English.