Warin Lab Contemporary
Jan 28 - Mar 18, 2023
All images courtesy of Warin Lab Contemporary
Warin Lab Contemporary is pleased to announce a solo exhibition titled “Inside Manga Bubbles” by Eri Imamura. Known for her soft sculpture in the form of life-sized human torsos, Imamura champions the aesthetics of fiber art with a Native American beading technique on vintage Kimono fabric.
JP Girl B "I'm going to be happy'', 2023, Seed beads, 24-carat gold beads, vintage Kimono silk fabric, hanger head, wood, stuffing, 59×167×10cm
Numb, 2022, Seed beads, cut beads, 24K gold beads, antique Kimono textile, wood, stuffing, 82×62×10cm
The artistic practice of Imamura has been shaped by blurring the lines between fiction and reality. The affiliation with Manga is clearly acknowledged in her art creations. The outbreak of COVID-19 encapsulated all of us in virtual bubbles on a global scale, showing us that Manga narratives and other Science Fiction stories can become reality. In parallel, digital technologies have engendered the metaverse offering alternative bubbles to escape from our real-life frustrations.
According to Imamura, “Our existence has become “2.5 dimensional”: halfway between a 2D virtual reality and a 3D physical reality. This shift is actually our symptomatic reaction to environmental destruction. When the physical world becomes too dangerous, we escape from it to take refuge in a surreal and perfect world. This illusional journey epitomizes the inherent weakness of human nature.”
Specialized in Japanese weaving and dying techniques as well as Amerindian beading artistry, Imamura keeps textile and beading at the core of her artistic practice. She transforms the Kimono textile from apparel to three-dimensional soft sculptures with rich iconography that discourse with Japanese tattoo art, Manga, Science Fiction, and other forms of popular visual culture.
In the exhibition “Inside Manga Bubbles,” the viewers encounter numerous round mirrors on the walls as a backdrop for hanging sculptures. The experience reflects the reality of our own image and our own ideas. This kaleidoscopic bubble stages the challenge of environmental, spiritual and psychological issues that humanity is facing.
Breathe, 2022, Seed beads, cut beads, 24-carat gold beads, vintage Kimono fabric, wood, hunger, stuffing, 53×75×7cm
Always Late B, 2023, Seed beads, cut beads, 24-carat gold beads, vintage Kimono silk fabric, wood, stuffing sculpture, 53×70×8cm
Always Late B detail
Eri Imamura (Born in 1977 in Tokyo)
She lives and works between Tokyo and Bangkok. In 2001, she got a BA majoring in Textile Arts from the Tokyo University of the Arts (東京藝術大學), the most prestigious art school in Japan.
From 2003 to 2007, Eri had been encountering a life-changing experience in New Mexico, United States: her long-lasting residency among Native Americans led her to full training in Amerindian beading artistry under the supervision of Teri Greeves, a renowned beadwork artist. This later materialized with her Associate Arts (AA) degree in Indigenous Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, awarded with highest honors in 2007. In the wake of these seminal achievements, her torsos, bas-reliefs, and installations employ cross-cultural and multidisciplinary expertise, from Manga and tattoo art to animist beliefs and rituals.
Ultimately, the art of Eri Imamura mirrors the fate of modern urban societies entrapped in materialism and the deep aspiration of her contemporaries to reconnect spiritually with nature. Her work is collected across continents, from America to Asia.
Miracle - With Prayer for Japan, 2014, Seed beads, cut beads, 24-carat gold beads, vintage Kimono silk fabric, wood, stuffing, 42×28×5cm
Coo 3 (beige), 2016, Seed beads, vintage Kimono silk fabric, wood, stuffing, 62×30×5cm