Working in proximity to US military compounds and naval bases in Japan during and following World War II, Tatsuo Ikeda composed a visual vocabulary that escaped order and realism. Primarily drawing and painting on paper, Ikeda creates surreal scenes where mutated bodies morph with nearly unrecognisable architecture set on backgrounds of swirling line drawings or empty gradients. Ikeda lived for almost a century and shaped his art career around the tumults that he experienced as a result of US and Japanese political affairs. After the war, Ikeda enrolled in Tokyo’s Tama Art and Design School, joining a generation of Japanese artists that made highly expressive work, charged with the reclamation of personal identity and culture, and with strong anti-imperialist, anti-nationalist, and pacifist political ideals. One of the many chapters in Ikeda’s artistic production is a body of work called Elliptical Space, created between 1963–1965 after the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was signed between the US and Japan. This demoralised Ikeda, and he turned his focus to exploring human anatomy and consciousness on a microbiotic level. In these paintings, the suggestion of planets in orbit become one and the same as surreal bodily forms, all made up of hundreds of contoured figures that fit together like puzzle pieces.