IO Show


Even before there was a location for International Orange we hoped to create an environment that continually changed. A place that could reinvent itself, not unlike the feeling of renewal one hopes for when entering a yoga class or showing up for a massage or a facial. Our spa in San Francisco, IO, never set out to have a decorative theme or a set image but to make a conscious effort to bring new information to people and advocate self-exploration through the environment, the products we feature and the very operation itself. On that note we are pleased to announce IO SHOW.

IO SHOW is a continually rotating exhibit and features installations by artists and individuals from different fields. For future IO SHOWs, inquiries and submissions can be sent to



Crooked Nest focuses primarily on urban landscapes and garden design. As designers, their goals are to connect people through thoughtful placement of plants and plant materials in urban environments – gestures of healing earth energy for those of us who choose to live in the concrete jungle.  Interactions, intersections, relationships, heart energies and our personal and emotional connections with space and with one another provide inspiration for how we choose to address our artful plantings.

BETWEEN MEALS : by Aya Brackett

Aya Brackett is a San Francisco based photographer who was born and raised in a traditional Japanese house in the mountains of Northern California. She grew up with two wood stoves, a generator for electricity and a long dirt road. Brackett left California to study at Brown University and received a dual B.A. in Visual Arts and East Asian Studies, and also studied photography at Rhode Island School of Design and the California College of the Arts. For four years she worked as one of the photo editors at Dwell Magazine and then left to pursue her own travels and work. She has been published in many books and numerous publications including Gastronomica, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, The London Telegraph Sunday Magazine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Dwell. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries, is in private collections and in the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum.

Aya Brackett’s photography draws heavily on an appreciation of still life painting and often incorporates themes of food and the natural world. Deliberate arrangement of subject matter is often essential to her photographic process.

A challenge Brackett often encounters is the creation of a strong composition which appears natural and uncontrived despite her own hand in the scene. Brackett is attracted to natural imperfections and mess and often simplifies a scene to eliminate distracting elements. Sometimes food is found, a moment is disrupted and a table re-arranged. While other times, a tableau is re created from collected objects and from Brackett’s own memory of scene she has observed.

The Between Meals project is ongoing simply because she is continually interested in how still lifes of food can suggest a greater context and a narrative of human life outside the camera frame. These are not really food shots per se, but still lifes that happen to employ food; the inspiration comes from the objects humans consume and use in their everyday lives. Brackett is moved by how these mundane objects can be evocative cues of domestic life and are also aesthetically exciting.

DRAWINGS : by Leigh Wells

Leigh Wells is engaged in an ongoing drawing dialogue with complexity and the unknowable, with an interest in attempts by science, religion and history to address these themes. While abstract in nature, the works reference social phenomenon, extreme religious beliefs, scientific theories, and other accepted bodies of knowledge.

Combining collage and mixed-media with an emphasis on drawing, her work attempts to challenge, in its way, simplistic worldviews that contrast with the overwhelmingly complex and unknowable nature of reality. In works that interact with found historical, cultural or religious materials, she questions, using her own systems, the presumed points of view contained in these objects.

Leigh’s work was presented during summer 2008 in a one person show at Gallery 16 in San Francisco, appeared in the September 2008 issue of Harper’s magazine, and is included in the Viewing Program at The Drawing Center in New York, and the flat files at Pierogi in Brooklyn.

Leigh Wells was born in Oakland, California and holds a BFA from University of San Francisco. She has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and Parsons/New School in New York.


A spiritual journey through Southern Asia.

India. Cambodia. Vietnam. Laos.

The earth’s most impoverished people are also the most beautiful.
Rich dichotomies are food for learning in the colorful honesty of the third world.

Heavenly fragrance
Hideous stench
Lavish temples
Vibrant color
Flowing fabric
Rich flavors
Surreal shrines
Shiva and Buddha
Rhythmic chanting
Ceremonial dance
Artful worship
Powerful teachers
Sadhus and Monks
Indigenous healing
Herbs and potions
Ayurveda and acupuncture
Reiki and palm reading
The energy of prayer
Children laughing
Blue ocean expanse
Birds in flight
Overwhelming generosity

Love in the bright smiles
and fearless eyes,
opens me.

Simply the happiest people on the planet
because they live simply.

Now, through these photographs,
taken mostly on disposable cameras,
taste my life-changing exploration.

Amy Darland (IO Co-Founder & Managing Partner) was raised in Marin County and is a Georgetown graduate who worked for Lucas Film before moving East to William Morris where she helped represent award-winning screenwriters and directors and met Co-Founder, Kary. Amy, a massage lover from birth (mom practiced baby massage on her as an infant and extensive family travel always included relaxation treatments), is a Certified Massage Therapist. Amy’s family now lives on and works their organic farm in the high desert of New Mexico and provide special, high quality organic remedies to IO.

TSURUKICHI : by Matt Dick

Tsurukichi indigo is made from the harvested and fermented leaves of the indigofera plant. The indigo dye pots are kept at a consistent tepid temperature to keep the dye active. It is a natural dye. Indigo originated in Egypt and was introduced to Japan in the 7th century, over 1300 years ago. Today the Nakajima Konya is one of the few functioning indigo dye houses still in operation in Japan and has been registered as prefectural treasure. Yasuo Nakajima, founder of Tsurukichi indigo has been recognized as a living treasure for continuing as the fourth generation dyer of indigo. The compound was founded over 170 years ago and was part of the daily life of Japanese people. At one time each household made its own clothes, quilts and items born of necessity and function from what was available at hand. Indigo dyed goods are believed to carry a strength rooted in hard work. It has been extremely difficult for the Nakajima dye house to maintain and continue the natural indigo dying process. Fluctuating economies and changing interests from generation to generation have all but extinct many artisanal and traditional forms of beauty. Intricate, fragile and reliant on a fermentation process not unlike sake or wine making, indigo baths sustain a living culture which we believe brings life to the cloth it saturates with a rich and vibrant blue. Please relax, and feel the atmosphere of our aizome.

Matt Dick is a designer and creative director. His work in textile and clothing design, fashion branding, and product development has kept him involved in the Japanese market since 1997, although he is based in San Francisco. After eight years working for Tamotsu Yagi Design, he opened Matocreative, continuing to work in the areas of clothing design, space design, and art direction. Most recently, he became the retained design director and clothing designer for Tsurukichi Indigo Japan—a small artisanal brand of hand-dyed and printed textiles, clothing, and accessories from one of the oldest operating indigo-dying compounds in Japan. He is currently guest faculty in the Design and Technology department of the San Francisco Art Institute.

NOBLE SILENCE : by Stefano Massei

Noble silence is the silence observed by the monks during the periods of meditation in Buddhist monasteries. It is the silence that allows one’s inward investigation, a journey of awareness and concentration. The photographs of the monks were taken at Deer Park Thich Naht Hanh monastery in San Diego California in 2003. The images of the rocks are part of a work in progress based primarily on the immediacy of the felt sensation, an attempt to remove the superfluous to leave only what matters, the essence of what is, a study on the personality of forms and texture.

Stefano Massei is a photographer working and living in San Francisco. The last several years his commitment to meditation has led him to the studies of Thich Naht Hahn which he has shared in his regular teachings of non violence through meditation at San Quentin state penitentiary and the San Francisco south city jail. We are very proud to have him in our family at IO and to be able to share his visual study with you that reflect his practice of sitting and of reflection. What better way to enter into spring now more than ever than with a reminder of the arresting beauty and power of peace and silence.

November 2006 – February 2007

ARTIST STATEMENT : I am a photographer, book artist and gardener. My experience in the garden influences all my artwork. Several things have come together to inspire this show. I have long been fascinated by botanical illustrations where the artist reveals the interior of flowers using all the different parts of dissection. By greatly enlarging the floral images a surprisingly intimate view of the botanical make up is revealed.

HIDDEN STORIES : The Space Between
July 2006 – September 2006

This series of work is part of my ongoing exploration of the ever-shifting world between awake and asleep.

Where ‘after’ images from my exterior world and ‘emerging’ images from my interior world meet, and through free association, I create stories that touch on the nature of an altogether different experience.

These stories tell themselves to me through the camera by the way the light plays on the surfaces of figures and landscape revealing the visceral presence and glowing shadows of the fundamental energy of that place and spirit.

Christine Alicino is a San Francisco-based photographer whose fine artwork has a distinct and highly personal vision. Her subjects include portraits, tableaus, landscapes and still-life photography all infused with a sensitive and powerful aesthetic that is subtle and formally beautiful. Christine has worked as a successful professional photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. For a partial list of clients see her Web site at

BIRDWATCHING : Still Lives by April Gertler
April 2006 – June 2006

Still Lives is an examination of the way birds are represented within the man-made and constructed ‘organic’ worlds of the natural history museum.

The photographs from Still Lives are specifically taken to make the viewer question their authenticity. By reframing the dioramas within the frame of the camera and thereby walking the thin line between reality and fiction. IO Creative Director, Matt Dick, was most interested in how the fabricated environments are viewed as ‘still’ moments of a bird’s life while in their natural habitat…

The complete artist statement can be viewed online at

August 2005 – March 2006

This IO SHOW is a first-ever exhibition on the evolution of Hamadi Beauty. Creator Jamal Hammadi is the man behind some of Hollywood’s hottest hairstyles. His work graces countless magazine covers and fashion runways from New York to Paris. And his organic hair care line ­ Hamadi Beauty ­ is a beauty favorite of everyone from actresses to musicians to moms.

Celebrity hairstylist Jamal Hammadi, famous for styling the tresses of celebrities such as Linda Evangelista, Heather Graham, and Naomi Watts, joins together with IO to celebrate holistic beauty. Together we set out to promote the idea of beauty with a conscience, holistic beauty that really is intrinsic to everyone, just naturally.

March 2005 – July 2005

It was a legendary evening at INTERNATIONAL ORANGE on April 8, 2005 as we celebrated the launch of the new IO SHOW presented by fashion designer, artist and performer, Susan Cianciolo. Susan became the darling of the New York fashion scene, a poster girl for the creativity that many said seemed to be missing from the runways. Her purposefully deconstructed clothing line is made from vintage fabrics with button-on appliqués, hand-painted patterns and coarse stitching. As Susan’s first ever West Coast show, the event was amazing and unusual.

November 2004 – February 2005

This winter season’s IO SHOW is an installation by IO Creative Director, Matt Dick, and hopes to send this message:

As we go into hibernation and turn inward for warmth and reflection through the winter, IO nods to nature and the universal symbols of nurture and renewal. The root, the nest, the circle and the seed. Reminders of the importance of strength in simplicity and the path of the circle and its lessons of patience, the protection and support of the nest in life and the power of the root and both the endurance and fragility of the seed. To you, from us, for the future, for life and peace. Happy Holidays from International Orange.

August 2004 – October 2004

Whether you have been gawking from the sidelines or leading the pack, it seems that the crave for the 3 stripes is at its peak again. They are part of Rap and Hip Hop history, have been to the Olympics and back again and have even been twisted and reinterpreted by the Japanese Avant-garde. Come take a trip down Adidas memory lane with HARPUTS at IO. This IO SHOW displays Adidas that have never seen the light of day, from sneakers to bags to the boxes they came in.

All the stock for this IO SHOW were graciously on lend from Harputs, one of San Francisco’s oldest sources for Adidas gear and other fabulous and hard-to-find athletic wear.

WITHIN : by Laura Ciapponi
The Creations

This work has found a physical space that resonates with its expression. International Orange is designed with attentive contemplation of space. The interaction of humans with quiet and minimal form cultivates an environment of clarity. The creations are about this awareness and perception: receiving the wisdom of interior silence and intuition as guide.

The Creator
Laura Ciapponi is an artist who uses both painting and photography as expressive mediums.