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An uplifting exhibition of cast sculpture and drawings

by Japanese artist, Akiko Ban

Opening Reception: 6.30–8.30 pm 1 March 2012

Exhibition: 2–24 March

Bicha Gallery

7 Gabriels Wharf

South Bank

London SE1 9PP

020 7928 0083

Akiko Ban Untitled (Yellow Figure) plaster and pigment 2009

The intention of Akiko Ban’s artistic practice is to give life to materials and generate separate entities which

exist on their own. Each of her works is the result of a personal ritual and disciplined methodology. A process

that has been influenced by the rigorous physical and spiritual training she has experienced as a qualified

master of Japanese calligraphy.

She uses direct or real time casting as a means of capturing reality. Using liquid and flexible materials such

as water, ink, plaster, fabric and rubber, she simultaneously integrates the process of model making, mould

making and casting into one singular event.

There are aspects of capturing time, concentration, understanding and controlling material within real time

casting. Unlike traditional casting, it is process which allows her to take the action and experience of something

intangible over a short period of time and transform it into a visible object.

Akikos work is about her personal mythology the series of myths which reflect the world that surround her now.

The work may be influenced by music she listens to, film she sees, fashion she likes or possibly social matters she

experiences. To capture these moments in sculpture, a full understanding of the material is vital. Being honest and

direct with the material, brings the mind to total concentration, letting an uplifting inner spirit emerge through the

object when those factors are integrated into the process, it finally generates the best work.

It is important to work intuitively, as her inner spirit can then be manifested and eventually generated as

the object. She calls this work generation process ‘manifestation of entity’ which only happens when her

unconsciousness is purely harmonized with the natural phenomena caused by materials. It is ‘mass of life’ which

communicates itself on its own terms. The result of the process becomes her work. For Akiko, process and

outcome are clearly linked together and inseparable. What she is casting is life.

“The idea the imaginative concept actually is the giving of life and vitality to material. When we say that

a great sculpture has vision, power, vitality, scale, poise, form or beauty, we are not speaking of physical

attributes. Vitality is not a physical, organic attribute of sculpture - it is a spiritual inner life.”

- Barbara Hepworth

Akiko Ban has an MFA in Fine Art (Sculpture) from The Slade School of Fine Art and a BA (Hons) Drawing

from Camberwell College of Arts.

Akiko Ban Four (detail) plaster, pigment and wood 2011

Bicha Gallery

7 Gabriels Wharf

South Bank

London SE1 9PP

020 7928 0083

Akiko Ban Untitled (mask) plaster, pigment and metal 2009

Akiko Ban Mystic Parade (detail) mixed media 2011

Bicha Gallery represents living contemporary artists from the UK and around the world working in sculpture,

ceramics, drawing, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, etching and metal work.

For further information, text or images, please contact António Capelão.

Bicha Gallery, 7 Gabriel’s Wharf, 56 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PP

T. +44 (0)20 7928 0083 | E. |

Opening Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 7pm