入江早耶 Recreated Images


Born in 1983 in Okayama, Irie completed Hiroshima City University’s pre-doctoral art studies course in 2009, and is currently based in Hiroshima. Her work was honoured in the 2009 Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art, and she was the recipient of the sixth Shiseido “Art Egg” award in 2012. An up-and-coming artist, Irie also exhibited works at London’s ICN Gallery in July 2013 in a solo exhibition.

Irie’s technique is to rub out a two-dimensional image with an eraser, and then use the eraser residue to recreate the same image in three dimensions. In one work, an image of the goddess Guanyin has been erased from a scroll only to be re-embodied in three dimensions, hovering in space. In another, a portrait on a banknote has been recreated as a bust placed on the bank note. By taking icons that have attained “currency” through their ubiquity, erasing them, and then recreating them as three dimensional sculptures in the same realm as the viewer, Irie’s works ask humorously modern questions about the way we interact with these images.

This exhibition will unveil the artist’s latest works, in which photographic reproductions of historic paintings have been turned into three-dimensional figures. The theme of dynamic engagement with “ready made” images is one that the artist has pursued consistently.

Director Message (Hozu Yamamoto)
Since ancient times, the inhabitants of Japan have believed that everything around them has a spirit. This is not limited to natural objects such as mountains, trees and flowers –we also sense a presence in the houses we build and the implements we create, which is why we have historically valued objects and spoken of how they should not be wasted.
It is the works of Irie Saya that remind of this in today’s modern consumer society with all its materialism.
The first work by Irie that I saw consisted of a small human figure standing in front of an old scroll. When I looked closer, I realised that the tiny figure was Budai, the laughing Buddha. What’s more, Budai’s image had been rubbed off the scroll with an eraser and the resulting residue had been transformed into a sculpture of Budai. This magical work gave the viewer the impression that Budai had been released from a picture in which he had been trapped.
The works exhibited at the 2012 Shiseido Gallery exhibition all suggested genies conjured from consumable commodities. It can be said that art is all about breathing life into one’s medium in order to communicate with people: Irie’s works do just that.
The understanding of the importance of conserving resources will without doubt be a major theme of communication in this, the 21st century, a time when the finite nature of these resources has become apparent.