Tomoyo Ihaya: Drawing Water
Kelowna Art Gallery
Kelowna BC Jun 17-Sept 10, 2006
Vancouver artist Tomoyo Ihaya explores the symbolic and physical importance of water to people, especially those whose lives revolve around the arduous process of retrieving water from wells and rivers. Inspired by her travels around the world, Ihaya has created a widely lauded and formidable body of narrative images. Previous exhibitions have shown work filled with symbols from many cultures, including Japan and Mexico.
Tomoyo Ihaya, Tree 1 (2006), etching, chine colle, watercolour [Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna BC, Jun 17-Sept 10]
Her recent drawings and prints were motivated by her experiences living with a Buddhist family in Ladakh, India. Drawing Water depicts map-like scenarios of the village life, replete with tiny people and delicately drawn trees and pathways. As she wrote, The repetition of the chore of collecting water started to feel like a ritual and even the ordinary, plastic containers took on a sacred beauty for me. Her personal, naive drawing style is underpinned by keen and sensitive observations.
Ihaya is a Japanese-born artist who came to Canada in 1994. She studied fine arts at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver. She received a B.A. in German Literature from Rikkyo University in Japan (1994) and an M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Alberta in Edmonton (2002). Ihaya has exhibited in international print and drawing shows in Japan, Taiwan, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Bulgaria and Argentina, and participated in artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, the United States and India.
Tomoyo Ihaya, Indus River (2006), etching, chine colle [Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna BC, Jun 17-Sept 10]