In the ODD Gallery: Tomoyo Ihaya


May 18 – June 22, 2017
Opening night: Thursday, May 18th
Artist talk at 7:30PM in the KIAC Ballroom | Reception to follow

Eyes, Water, Fire is a mixed media installation immersed in the symbolic meanings of water, fire, and eyes. Each element has a symbolic meaning. Watery blue legs cross the borders on snow-covered mountains, or swim across an ocean. Flames declare resistance and dignity. Eyes signify the mind, witnessing, prayers, doors to the mind and vessels to hold and shed tears for human tragedies. Burning small holes into the eyes with incense sticks will be an act of prayer/meditation. The light coming through each tiny hole is a symbol of hope.

Eyes, Water, Fire
 exhibits two sets of drawings. The first is a group of drawings exploringsymbolic motifs around the initial theme of water, such as a boat, river, a water pump, vessels, and a tree.

The second group of drawings are selected from over 130 drawings Ihaya has made since 2012. She writes, “The trigger for this series of pieces occurred in a cyber café in a remote village in India in January 2012. The news with a photo of a monk burning in flame hit my heart so deeply to the point I started shaking and had to go back to my room immediately to draw. It was my way of processing or coming to terms with this tragedy.”

“After that I decided to stay within a Tibetan community in exile again and made a vow to complete a small drawing each time an act of self-immolation protest occurred. I lived for total of 6 months in Dharamsala, the capital of the Tibetan government in exile in India to participate and photograph all the vigils for deceased protestors, and to draw.”

Exhibition text by Robin Laurence