Akiko Ichikawa

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Akiko Ichikawa
Sagamihara, Japan
Alma materBrown University
Hunter College
AwardsArtists Space Independent Project Grant, Djerassi Artists Residency

Akiko Ichikawa (アキーコー・イチカワ also 市川 明子 Ichikawa Akiko) is a New York City-based interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, and editor.[1][2] She has exhibited her work in The Hague, Berlin, New York City, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Newark, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Incheon, South Korea. She has also written on contemporary and 20th century art and culture for Flash Art, Art in America, zingmagazine, and Hyperallergic.

Her article on the photography of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Toyo Miyatake at Manzanar for Hyperallergic went viral in fall 2016, following comments by a spokesperson of a Trump-supporting PAC on Fox News.

Early life and education[edit]

Ichikawa's family emigrated to the US, via San Francisco, when she was three. She grew up with two siblings in the suburbs of Boston and Nashville,[3] and attended Brown University graduating with honors. She moved to New York City four days later, entering Hunter College's MFA program 18 months later. She currently lives and works in New York City.[4][5]


Her concept-based artwork exists in the forms of performance art, installation art[6] and net.art. Her performance works[4][7] include a series of site-specific gifting performances called Limited, Limited Edition which she has presented at Socrates Sculpture Park, in Long Island City, Queens;[8] in Jamaica, Queens; at the Incheon Women Artists' Biennale in Incheon, South Korea;[9] at On Stellar Rays gallery in the Lower East Side; in three locations in Newark, New Jersey for Aljira Center for Contemporary Art,[10] in a school yard in East Harlem; on 14th Street as a part of the Art in Odd Places performance festival, and on H Street NE in Washington D.C.[11] For Bad Kanji (2015), she painted temporary kanji tattoos on viewers at the Spring/Break Art Show, held in the historic office spaces above New York City's James A. Farley Post Office. The work was reviewed favorably.[12]

She also works as an art historian, enacting two of Fluxus-member Alison Knowles's event scores, namely #5 Wounded Furniture and #3 Nivea Cream Piece.[11][13] The latter was live-blogged on Hyperallergic[14] and well-received, with Kyle Chayka writing that it was "definitely among [his] favorites."[15] In 2015, Ichikawa wrote about the Japanese American incarceration through the photography of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Toyo Miyatake for Hyperallergic, which went viral, shared over 8,000 times on Facebook.[16][17] In 2018, she reminded New York art world readers about the Golden Venture incident, which marked the start of contemporary punitive immigration policies at the presidential level, under President Clinton.[18]

In the Aughts, she created a Internet art piece that simulated a series of imagined art installations. Ichikawa has also created a series of Facebook groups themed around food organized by color, touching upon issues of cultural identity, food sourcing, gentrification, environmental concerns, and greenwashing while sharing nutrition and cost-cutting tips: I ♥ Yellow Food, I ♥ Orange Food, I ♥ Red Food, I ♥ Green Food, and I ♥ Blue Food.[19][20][21][22] While not supportive of Facebook's history of massive online-privacy violations, its carrying the 2016 Republican National Convention, and its other roles in the empowerment of Donald J. Trump's presidential candidacy (along with other mainstream media),[23][24] the artist-writer nevertheless viewed the social media site as an effective, user-friendly way to include as many participants as possible. She has lately turned to Instagram, bought by Facebook in 2012.[25]

Her art before 2005 was primarily focussed in installation art, built around the placement and assembly of basic construction materials in gallery spaces. She presented one such installation for her solo exhibition at Momenta Art[26][27] and another at Andrew Kreps gallery in a group exhibition curated by Dean Daderko[28][29] (now a curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston).[30] The series evolved into a Net.art piece, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? that is permanently stored on Rhizome.org.[22]

Art writing[edit]

She has written on contemporary art for Flash Art on the work of Ken Lum, Laurel Nakadate, Dan Peterson, Yasue Maetake, and, for NY Arts magazine, the work of British artists Jane and Louise Wilson[31] and for Zing Magazine, the work of Iranian-American public artist Siah Armajani.[32][33]

In 2015, she wrote about the photography of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Toyo Miyatake and the Japanese American incarceration for Hyperallergic.[16][17] The article received its biggest spike in interest (about 5,000 more Facebook shares, totaling 8,000) after the spokesman of a Trump-supporting PAC cited the incarceration as precedent for a Muslim registry on Fox News in early November 2016.[34] In 2018, she covered the folded paper work of the Golden Venture migrants held in York, Pennsylvania that was shown at the Museum of Chinese in America, in New York City.[18]

She has also written about the closing of Tekserve, the performance of a group of young area Native American musicians, and, with Danielle Wu, performance art by young artists of Asian descent in a New York City-based performance art festival.[35] In 2018, she wrote about the paper-folding work of the Golden Venture migrants for Art in America online[36] and served as the social media writer for #callresponse during its New York City exhibition run at EFA Project Space.[37]

Selected awards[edit]


Her younger sister, Yoko, is an Oakland, California-based part-time graphic designer and ESL teacher[38] Her younger brother, Kenshin Ichikawa,[39][40] founded and designed Rocksmith streetwear, which has done collaborative lines with the Wu Tang Clan, Malcolm X's daughters, and a music video with Future, among other things. Rocksmith has also been worn by all of the major male American hip-hop stars.[41][42] Yoko is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in West African dance, Kenshin a graduate of Columbia University. The latter is married to UC Berkeley Food Institute policy director Nina Fallenbaum.[43][44]


  1. ^ Forbes Life, masthead, May 2011, p. 12
  2. ^ —————, masthead, December 2011, p. 14.
  3. ^ "ABC NO RIO, Akiko Ichikawa, Vandana Jain, Jayson Keeling, Rahul Saggar, Martina Secondo, Chanika Svetvilas: 2nd October 2008 – 29th October 2008". ArtSlant, Inc.
  4. ^ a b "Artnet News". Artnet. January 11, 2011.
  5. ^ "Biobiblio, Akiko Ichikawa". Jochen Gerz's Anthology of Art. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Johnson, Ken (June 18, 2004). "Art in Review: The Reality of Things". The New York Times.
  7. ^ PERFORMA05: Akiko Ichikawa biography Archived November 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Performa 05 website
  8. ^ "Akiko Ichikawa". Socrates Sculpture Park. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
  9. ^ "Exhibition Tuning, Incheon Women Artists' Biennale". IWA Biennale.
  10. ^ "Exhibitions: Limited, Limited Edition (Newark)". Aljira.org.
  11. ^ a b Performance links, artist's website
  12. ^ Goldensohn, Rosa (March 5, 2015). "'Super-Trippy' Art Show Takes Over Post Office's Main Branch". Hyperallergic. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015.
  13. ^ Alison Knowles website, list of event scores
  14. ^ Vartanian, Hrag (January 15, 2011). "Live Blogging Maximum Perception Sat Night". Hyperallergic.
  15. ^ Chayka, Kyle (January 20, 2011). "Reflections on 2011 Maximum Perception". Hyperallergic.
  16. ^ a b Ichikawa, Akiko (May 8, 2015). "The Images and Stories of Japanese American Internment". Hyperallergic.
  17. ^ a b Ichikawa (September 1, 2015). "How the Photography of Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams Told the Story of Japanese American Internment". Hyperallergic.
  18. ^ a b Ichikawa (March 14, 2018). "The Craft of Survival: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures at the Museum of Chinese in America". Art in America.
  19. ^ Ichikawa. "East Coast Japanese Americans". Facebook.
  20. ^ Ichikawa. "I Heart Yellow Food". Facebook.
  21. ^ Ichikawa. "I Heart Red Food". Facebook.
  22. ^ a b "Where Do We Come From What Are We Where Are We Going?". Rhizome.org.
  23. ^ Feldman, Brian (November 17, 2016). "The Trouble With Facebook's Fake-News Data". New York magazine.
  24. ^ Li, Roland (July 26, 2018). "Facebook's stock plunge not expected to hurt Bay Area economy". San Francisco Chronicle.
  25. ^ "Akiko Ichikawa". Instagram.
  26. ^ "Past Projects, 2000". Momenta Art. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  27. ^ Garcia-Fenech, Giovanni (October 4, 2000). "Brooklyn Spice". Artnet.
  28. ^ [1] Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Re-title.com
  29. ^ list of installation work on older version of the artist's site
  30. ^ "Staff & Board". Contemporary Arts Museum Houston website.
  31. ^ "Jane and Louise Wilson (resume)" (PDF). 303 Gallery website. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 12, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "Issue 7". Zing Magazine website. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  33. ^ Links to writing, artist's website
  34. ^ "Japanese American internment is 'precedent' for national Muslim registry, prominent Trump backer says". Washington Post. November 17, 2016.
  35. ^ "Akiko Ichikawa". Hyperallergic.
  36. ^ Ichikawa (March 14, 2018). "The Craft of Survival: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures at the Museum of Chinese in America". Art in America.
  37. ^ "Thinking about my new friends in #CallResponse & having to deal w/the frustrations of working in US hyper capitalism". Instagram. March 14, 2018.
  38. ^ "Yoko Ichikawa, Faculty". LinkedIn. Retrieved December 13, 2013. and ESL teacher at San Francisco's Academy of Art
  39. ^ "Rocksmith Designer Kenshin Ichikawa Discusses Brand Success and Wu-Tang Collaborations". XXL. March 26, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
  40. ^ "Search results for Kenshin Ichikawa in New York, NY". Intelius.com. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  41. ^ "SEENT IT: P. DIDDY SEEN IN ROCKSMITH SUMMER 2 G'S UP SHORTS". Rocksmith NYC. August 4, 2014. Archived from the original on November 24, 2016. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  42. ^ "My Blog_". Hearty Magazine. May 25, 2009.
  43. ^ "Nina Kahori Fallenbaum". Hyphen.
  44. ^ "Who We Are: Our Team". food.berkeley.edu.

See also[edit]