Netherlands, b. 1997
Operating under the name Baby Reni, Irene Ha has built her own creative universe. Finding a community in the digital sphere—one consisting of DIY mums, seamstresses, DJs, and designers, her brand is based on systemic collaborations of a generation “raised” by the Internet. In her strategic deployment of cuteness as an aesthetic category, Ha tackles prejudices about her South-East Asian heritage and grapples with the unresolved contradictions of the contemporary era while challenging the standards of the modern fashion industry. Her work is characterized by an overload of stimuli, information, colors, and textures. Ignoring the usual formalities of showing collections, she presents her creations in an interdisciplinary context: from a series of fashion accessories to one-off art pieces, it is all merged into one big messy installation. Graduating from the Gerrit-Rietveld Academy, with the projects Jetlegged (2020) and Can I Go Out Already (2022), the artist explores the contradictions of life between two cultures—redefining personal notions of locality and authenticity.