Kowa Ikeuchi

Born in the deep mountains of Kochi prefecture in 1956, Ikeuchi, the only son of a blacksmith, studied photography at Osaka Crafts High School. After moving to Tokyo, he assisted 2 photographers -Kenji Ishihara, a photographer for Kanebo and Norihito Yoshimura for Shiseido, and became independent in 1983. Through the career as a photographer in the advertising and editorial business, he took the various portraits such as the one of the imperial families to the future teenage idols. He started his creative life works as an independent artist at the age of 50.

In 2007, he begun to create the body of work for the “PANANUFA” series.

December 2009, the series of Mr. Kazuo Ohno’s ‘Last Dance’, who was world famous as a founder of BUTOH, started (finished in June, 2010 due to Mr. Ohno’s passing).

In 2011, the solo exhibition “Pananufa” was held in Tokyo and Hamburg, Germany. His unique world, with poetic, mythical, and deep spiritual sensitivity, achieved a lot of acclaim at the exhibit. After the exhibit, he started to use the platinum palladium printing technique for durability as well as the rich gray tones this process provides. This change in technique gave him an ability to further express his deep inner world. From March 2018, his works with platinum palladium printing have been exhibited in Tokyo, Yokohama, and Amsterdam. The work has influenced contemporary artists in various genres such as novelists, poets, Butoh dancers and so on. “His unique world view is irresistibly beautiful, they are dreamlike as if it is a myth, but at the same time it is also like a thorn that sharply sticks to uncover our mind”. In addition, the uniqueness of Ikeuchi’s photographic work is not limited to simply the photography. He adds his own poetic words to his photography which helps to show the deeper dimensions of his work to the viewer.


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