Irie Saya

Irie Saya (b.1983), born in Okayama, Japan, is a graduate of Hiroshima City University. Irie’s specializes in sculptures made of eraser residue. To make such works, Irie erases a flat, 2D image and then uses the eraser residue to recreate the image in 3D. For example, in one work, a person portrayed in a flat banknote is resurrected in a physical bust and placed on top of the now-empty banknote. 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 humorously challenge the way we interact with ‘images’. Irie is a recipient of the 2009 Taro Okamoto Award for Contemporary Art, and the 2012 Shiseido “Art Egg” Award. Irie is currently based in Hiroshima, Japan

Eraser Dust Sculptures

The ‘minute’ has a special warmth. In daily life, large totems and statues of divinities populate the public arena whereas small objets d’art are worshipped in private spaces or taken on a journey. In the Japanese Edo period, when the plague broke out, people would pray for the termination of the disaster by worshipping the demon that was believed to be the cause, which, in the end, transformed the demonic deity Red-faced Vajra into a heavenly guardian. Japanese artist Saya Irie reprises this traditional ceremony: she rubs an eraser against a prescription bag while praying for the global pandemic to end. Afterwards, she makes a small Red-faced Vajra figurine out of the rubber remnants of the eraser. 

“小さきもの”にはそれにしか持ち得ない特別な温かみがあります。巨大なる絵図や神像が公的な場で集合体に向けたものであるのに対し、小さな仏像は私的な場で個人が祈りを捧げたり、お守りとして旅や戦に携帯したりするのに便利でした。疫病が蔓延した江戸時代より、疫病退散に御利益があるとされ、金剛力士が人々に広く崇められるようになります。悪魔をする金剛力士が、邪霊が入らない「鬼封じ」としての役割も果たしていることから、薬袋の上にも印刷されるようになっていきました。美術作家の入江早耶はコロナの収束を願い・無病息災を祈るかのように、古い薬袋の文字をかき消した消しゴムのカスで、小さな金剛力士像をつくりあげました。

IMG_0007210517_fullmb.jpg
IMG_0008210517_fullmb.jpg
irie sayaマウダスト.png
Sculpting with Eraser Dust by Irie Saya
Irie Saya

Sculpting with Eraser Dust by Irie Saya

irie sayaマウダスト.png

Exhibition Publication

In collaboration with the curators, Tokyo Gallery published a trilingual book on the occasion of this exhibition with a series of interviews with artists.