I take memories and experiences and materialize them into dioramas set in containers. Once I put them in the containers, they are no longer intangible; they are no longer thoughts, ideas, and memories that disappear or are forgotten. They remind me of who I am. They are safe and protected. These depictions of successes, failures and everything in between are met with acceptance and judgment is non-existent.
Chinese-Indonesian Irene Wibawa was born in Indonesia and has resided in the USA since 1983 when she was 8 years old. She is a multi-disciplinary artist in visual and performance art. Her lifelong interest in art began in childhood, learning to draw with Pak Tino on TV and playing with Snoopy and Legos. After relocating to the USA, she shelved her creative interests to pursue more practical goals, such as receiving her BS in Plant Biology from UC Davis, and gaining employment at USDA conducting experiments with insects and plants since 2004. Shortly after, she returned to her creative impulses with art classes at various community colleges and briefly took traditional Indonesian dance classes with Harsanari, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, and Gadung Kasturi. Thanks to a serendipitous meeting at an Open Studios with Cynthia Tom, she has since been connected with Asian American Women Artists Association and subsequently with InnerEye Arts, through which she gratefully has had multiple opportunities to exhibit. After exploring traditional Indonesian dance, she branched out to learn pop music choreographies with Bay Area Flash Mob, and has trained butoh with Judith Kajiwara of OnenessButoh and currently explores dance with her fellow dancers in butohBuddies.
In her visual art, she incorporates found objects, delights in uncommon uses of everyday items, and honors her family and community by telling their stories. In performance art, she seeks to express and celebrate all parts of the human condition intentionally, unapologetically, and authentically through her physical self.