"Humphrey Ikin has been a central figure in the evolution of the Pacific design movement. Since the early 1980's, when he first began to explore Polynesian forms in his furniture, writers have used his work to promote the idea of a wider New Zealand design renaissance." Giles Reid
With a background that includes degrees in both Architecture and Commerce, his work has helped pioneer a place for furniture within the arts in New Zealand. His continued furniture commissions build on that reputation, while his recent sculpture explores fresh responses to his abiding interests in materials and measurement, structure and surface.
Giles Reid states, "Ikin has always created powerful images from recognisable sources. The ceremonial bowl and the canoe can often be seen reworked in his tables. But it is the logic and inventive potential of construction which has clearly emerged as the constant theme of his oeuvre. He has avoided the sentimental role of the maker by being careful not to fetishize his materials. Instead, he treats each object as a prototype. Simple, tough, block-like forms are tempered by fine sensitivity to detail and modulation of surface."
Over a career spanning nearly 30 years, Humphrey Ikin has gained international recognition. He has been acknowledged in New Zealand through receipt of the John Britten Award from the Designers Institute of NZ in 2001, and a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of NZ in 2003. His work is held in public collections including Auckland Museum and Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand.