Tomoyo Ihaya: Drawing Water

June 17 to September 10, 2006

Vancouver-based artist Tomoyo Ihaya produces prints, drawings and installations inspired by the artist’s experiences of the interconnectedness of the material and spiritual worlds. In recent work, Ihaya has explored the symbolic and physical importance of water. For her new installations in the Reynolds Gallery and Rotary Courtyard, the artist will create work inspired by her recent experience of living with a Buddhist family in Ladakh, India, where water was pumped from a well daily for drinking, cooking and washing.

In Ladakh I felt that water, especially drinking water, was precious because it did not flow conveniently from a tap. It comes from deep in the earth and is laboriously collected in plastic containers and then stored in a plastic bin. 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.

Tomoyo Ihaya was born in Tsu-City, Mie, Japan. She studied fine arts at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. She received a B.A. in German Literature from Rikkyo University in Japan in 1994 and an M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 2002. Tomoyo Ihaya has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions for over 10 years across Canada and in the United States, Australia, Japan and Europe, and has participated in artist-in-residence programs in Thailand, the United States and India.

Drawing Water is the first solo exhibition of Tomoyo Ihaya’s work at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

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