In my childhood, I often used to strip the outer shells off from the dragonflies which I had caught out of the sheer temptation to examine the inside of them. In the beginning it was scary, but the repetition of the action paralyzed my feelings and I became fascinated by the beauty of their internal organs and felt as if I were playing with its life-and-death cycle on the palm of my hand.
Now that I look back, I might have become almost abnormally preoccupied with life and death.
Death exists as the opposite of life. However, they coexist at the same time.
My thought on the endless cycle of life and death, which is based on my interest and fear in that small life that faces death in a repetitive process of contraction and expansion and my hope for life, is connected to my artworks today.
As a child, ITO repeatedly stripped off the outer shells of dragonflies she caught out of a temptation to view their internal organs. She also witnessed dead animals in the woods, which was her playground. Through such experiences, she developed an interest in life and death, which led her to create art. She created plaster and casted figures at university. Then, before long, she started her work by disassembling stuffed toys. She assembles dozens of cute Japanese Barbie Dolls’ faces into her works and, at times, shaves off the surfaces of dolls’ bodies, then pastes them onto the girls’ figures made of styrofoam.
Occasionally, she allows a colored solution of foam polyurethane to soak into the dresses of the dolls and lets it flow down their surfaces. From a distance, they give a pop-art-like impression. However, the grotesque atmosphere is overwhelming and strong in its existence. Her works and installations, which connote her experiences in childhood, conjure up the existence of the endless circle of life and death.