Akira Iha

Media: Acrylic

Artist statement: I traveled throughout Japan visiting numerous Zen temples, tea houses, and famous historical ruins. My paintings describe the elegant beauty of simplicity and tranquility I found in these places, inspired by the formal exterior and interior structures of the Japanese tea house as well as the meditative properties of the tea house ceremony. Nijiriguchi, the title of several of my abstract paintings, directly translates to mean “the threshold” or opening of the tea house. As an abstract artist, my mixed-media paintings are built by multiple layers of paint on sheets of paper on wood panel. Then, using a reductive process, paint is removed by incising lines and sanding the paint to expose parts of the under layers of color. This technique creates a geometric structure with a subtle sense of space. These minimalist paintings let the viewer’s eye be drawn into the composition as if entering a structure. Light seems to emanate from within through the exposed areas of submerged color.