When one first experiences Hawaiʻi, sheer beauty is often the initial impression. Upon closer examination, that beauty is revealed as a façade distracting us from the societal challenges surrounding us: poverty, homelessness, discrimination (gender, racial, national, etc.) and so on. Upon this realization, Eri Kawano Irwin concentrated on these challenges, yet some aspect of beauty -- natural surroundings, beautiful people and distinct architecture -- always emerged.
Eri sought to put this concept into words and offers this quote to describe this phenomenon:
“The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption is not the way.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
Eri Kawano Irwin says, "I grew up in Tokyo. I was always interested in art and started selling postcard prints in a park instead of getting a real job while in college. It worked and got me an opportunity to do some work in New York City. As often happens, life goes its own way and I ended up taking time off to raise my daughters.
I moved here to Hawaiʻi in 2008 and have since started drawing again. From the beginning, I always drew aspects of the world I saw around me, things that drew my attention. I would take the things I saw and run them through the filter of my mind, for better or worse."
Harajuku, Japan – 2 day exhibition in March
Chicago, IL, Conception Art Show at Dovetail Brewery, February 2018