'Usagi Kannon' (2012/2019) by Leiko Ikemura has found a new temporary spot at Parc del Mar in Palma de Mallorca. The outdoor installation is part of an exhibition in collaboration with the Ajuntament de Palma and Casal Solleric.
A woman with rabbit ears, hybrid between animal and human, this sculpture is characterisctic of Ikemura’s approach that merges iconographies and cultural references. Usagi is the Japanese word for rabbit, while Kannon is the goddess of mercy in the Bouddhist tradition and the movement of her hands reminds of Virgin Mary. In terms of structure, the scale of the statue allows visitors to find shelter underneath, making it not only an icon but also a temple.
“The skirt is like a cave where you can seek protection, with light sources in it through the holes in the skirt and the hole in the head and thus the light from the sky. The small holes and the darkness in the skirt create a star-like phenomenon as if you were protected inside the universe.”- Leiko Ikemura
After being exhibited at the National Art Center Tokyo, the Kunstmuseum Basel and during the past months at Oratori Sant Feliu, the monumental sculpture 'Usagi Kannon' is now on view in front of the Cathedral before embarking on a new trip to the United Kingdom. Two other works, 'Pink Cloud' and 'Hare-Column' by the Swiss-Japanese artist are displayed in the window of Casal Solleric, creating a dialogue between the two spaces.
Image credits: Leiko Ikemura, Usagi Kannon, Palma de Mallorca, 2021 © Leiko Ikemura. Photo 1 by Philipp von Matt, Photos 2-5 by Bruno Daureo.