Irene Ha (Gerrit Rietveld Academy, 2020) sees herself as a multidisciplinary persona and with the brand Baby Reni she represents different identities of the (South-East) Asian diaspora and questions generalising perceptions. Her work is characterised by an explosion of information, colours and textures. With the projects Jetlegged (2020) and Can I Go Out Already (2022 >) Ha explores the contradictions of life between two cultures and redefines what locality and authenticity mean to her. On the internet she found and developed a community – consisting of hobby mums, seamstresses, DJ’s, designers and other artists – and so built a creative universe in which she makes not only clothing but also installations.
Irene Ha is a community builder through and through. She uses everything she sees and brings this back to her community; a safe space where everyone is co-owner and employee. They own, build and sell the Baby Reni brand together. This raises a whole new question about what we need and how we make it. Ha recognises that much of what is produced (sustainably or not), doesn’t need to be made at all and therefore reasons entirely from the needs of the community. Ha uses different platforms that interact with each other and shows a strong visual language that is both touching and humorous.