Tomoyo Ihaya (井早、智代)
Born and raised in Tsu City, Mie, Japan. A resident of Canada since 2000.
After studying studio arts a number of universities in Canada, Tomoyo Ihaya obtained a MFB (Master of Fine Arts) from University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2002.
Her curiosity of other cultures and a strong belief that art and one's life should be intertwined has lead her to travel and produced art work through international artist-in-residency programs in India, Mexico, Thailand, the United States and Canada. She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally since 1998 and a recipient of numerous project grants and awards for artists.
Since 2005, Tomoyo Ihaya has spent an extensive amounts of time in India on independent art research and during this time she has became close to Tibetan communities in exile through her study in Tibetan Buddhism. Since the winter of 2011, she has been worked on a series of drawings about the Tibetans who have self-immolated in response to the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The drawings are a form of mourning and a pray for the victims and as a result of her close relationships with Tibetan friends and families over the years.