38 x 50 inches // mixed media // 2007 [writing: critique/response]
Ichigo, or strawberry, became the “brand” for my 2007 research trip to Tokyo, and culminated with the Ichigo Shrine—a large three-dimensional poster installation. I chose exaggerated, overtly saccharine imagery to create contradictory impressions of irony and sincerity—asking viewers to question their understanding of the subject matter, and to view cuteness through the lens of my thesis: as simultaneously repellent and intriguing.
Beginning with an examination of Buddhist devotional structures found in traditional Japanese homes, I demarcated zones where different levels of graphic information could exist, knowing that the final structure would consist of a series of paper borders within borders. I chose images of objects traditionally found in such structures that are key to participant interaction, such as food offerings, incense and flowers.