The IEA welcomed Ari Tabei, who also goes by aricoco, as our artist in residence for the week of March 31st – April 4th. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and now living and working in Brooklyn, NY, Ari’s work harkens back to a ritual she had as a child of running away from home to search for her own place to be. Constructing bags, garments, masks, and shelters, Ari invents ritualistic play to revive childhood experiences and interpret the influence of her culture. Incorporating sculpture, performance, video work and photography, Ari works to link her past and present together, often referencing her feeling of an alienation from nature in the shelters and protections she produces.

During her time at the IEA, Ari continued this work, choosing to utilize the screen-print facilities to produce brightly colored hatmat suit with the help of her husband and then took photos and video of her and her husband wearing these suits in areas around Alfred and within Harder Hall. The many varieties of environments, from the rather natural setting near Canacadea Creek to the industrial Kiln Room to the cluttered office of a video technical specialist, provided many backdrops for Ari’s escapism. The presence of an Exit sign, either being held or somewhere in the shot, also shows the way one could escape when the time came.

Below is a variety of photos from Ari’s residency showcasing the printing, construction, and utilization of the suits she made here

A post-residency update: Ari had made a laser-etched woodblock of a book she wished to edition. Below are some images of the woodblock being printed and a finished print: