Talking Arts: Wild Wanders of the Beasts

Into the Wild: Unveiling Ikky's Whimsical Beasts at Kuiyuan Gallery

By Rachel Wu, April 26, 2024

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Ikky's debut solo exhibition in Guangzhou, Wild Wanders of the Beasts, recently showcased at the Kuiyuan Gallery, offers a vibrant journey into a whimsical realm teeming with furry creatures bursting with life and color, reminiscent with the artist's own charming personality. 

With keen observation and natural talent, Ikky creates a fantastical space where beasts roam freely amidst lush landscapes. 

Stepping into the gallery feels like stepping into a storybook, where you can't help but imagine these creatures living it up alongside dinosaurs, mingling with characters inspired by ancient myths, and even joining epic battles with Gundam.

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Image by Rachel Wu/That's

Ikky's brushwork is something else – sharp, short strokes and bold colors that bring his creatures to life with striking dynamism. 

Layers of strokes and sophisticated palettes skillfully capture the movement and nuanced interplay of light on fur, while lighter, softer strokes in their pupils convey a spectrum of temperaments – determined, vigilant, canny, innocent, benevolent. 

He explains that the three-eyed rabbit exudes wisdom and vigilance as its third-eye scans for deception. 

Bees connote daringness, diligence and unity as they usually appear in a lot of fables; others pop up in his mind as they are, like the double-headed tiger which is inexplicably endearing. 

Rather than imposing predetermined meaning onto his creations, Ikky invites viewers to interpret his beasts freely, encouraging them to find reflections of themselves within the creatures and allowing interpretations to blossom into captivating parables. 

His exhibition title, Wild Wanders of the Beasts, marks the third installment in his artistic journey, following previous exhibitions in Shanghai – A Trip to the Fool's Valley (2018) and A Trip to the Tiger Mountain (2022). 

Each show marks a step forward in his artistic evolution. 

Fool's Valley was where it all began. 

Anxious while intrigued, he embarked on his journey in these historic blocks in Jin'an District, Shanghai, blending real-life experiences with a touch of fantasy. 

Tiger Mountain took things up a notch, introducing us to that adorable double-headed tiger and taking us on an artistic adventure. 

And now, in Season III, Ikky revisits his artistic path, shifting the focus from location to action. 

He told me the first word that came up to his mind was 'stroll', conveying a leisure walk in a familiar place. 

But adventure is never like that, effortless and pleasurable; rather it is unpredictable. 

He finally settled on the word 'wander' – an embodiment of uncertainty and openness to relentless possibilities.

Ikky is not fazed by the label of 'pop art artist.' He would tell you "it's not a fixed ID, just a tag for easy communications, and it will change as the trend evolves." 

He is 100% focused on crafting characters in his fantasy world, valorous and determined, just like his double-headed tiger would be in the wild. 


About the Artist: 

Ikky Lin, born in Taipei and currently residing in Shanghai. Ikky excels in delicate depictions of rare and exotic animals, using bright colors to portray the warm energy of all living things.

In 2018, Ikky teamed up with the artist Wang Lue to form L+L, undertaking large-scale public art projects and launching the A.C.A.C.A_Fragile and Deep series of paintings.

Ikky has been active in major art events in recent years and has participated in numerous public art projects, including 2019 Asia Illustration Fair, Shanghai Urban Space Art Season, and Big Draw Festival Shanghai.


[Cover image by Rachel Wu/That's]

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