Fragments of Light


Fragments of Light provides a forum where artists and critics from many countries are able to share thoughts, interests and ideas in the area of the arts and spirituality, and the power of creative expression to humanize our culture and to heal and transform lives. The blog includes both excerpts from published essays, and original reflections by artists, writers, musicians, and theatre professionals. By inviting readers to respond to these published texts, we hope to promote conversation, reflection, and discussion on faith and creativity, contemplative prayer and esthetic experience, Christian liturgy and beauty, and related themes.

The momentum of the blog draws its energy from the seasons of the Church year and shared important feasts. If you would like to participate either as a regular or guest contributor, or if you have ideas for topics of conversation, please email Lillian Miao.

Uncomfortable Beauty

Inspired by the way light reflects and refracts through glass, Niyoko Ikuta carefully crafts and layers sheets of glass with the preciseness of an architectural plan.

Niyoko Ikuta, Free Essence-21, 2014. ©Yufuku Gallery

I find an uncomfortable beauty in these pieces. My intuitive discomfort with a sheet of glass – glass is fragile and brittle, likely to shatter, and possibly to cut– is confronted with forms which feel extraordinarily graceful, strong, and fluid.

Niyoko Ikuta, Free Essence-82, 2014. ©Yufuku Gallery

Do you feel this tension? Do the boundaries of your comfort zone affect how you engage a work of art?

My motifs are derived from feelings of gentleness and harshness, fear, limitless expansion experienced through contact with nature, images from music, ethnic conflict, the heart affected by joy and anger, and prayer.—Niyoko Ikuta

Niyoko Ikuta, Free Essence-61, 2014. ©Yufuku Gallery

Artist bio
Since the early 1980’s Japanese artist Niyoko Ikuta has explored the properties of glass which she uses to make ethereal geometric sequences manifested as layered sculptures. One of the leading figures in Japanese glass art, Ikuta’s works have been collected by institutions worldwide including the V&A in London and the Corning Museum of Glass in the U.S. She is represented by the Yufuku Gallery in Tokyo.