March 31, 2017 — New Projects to be served
If my studio practice was a kitchen, I think of my projects as one on the front burner, two on the back burner, and one for safe-keeping in the freezer. The grid of 30 craft abstracts for Seattle Storefronts is on the front. One of the projects that has been simmering on the back burner is to make a camouflage net from netting and strips of traditional Japanese fabric. This would be an installation to walk through — a sort of tented walkway with a ceiling and walls of hanging camouflage netting.
My initial idea for this came from seeing photos Dorothea Lange took in 1942 of incarcerated Japanese Americans making tens of thousands of camouflage nets at Manzanar and at Santa Anita (Racetrack) Assembly Center.
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which sent 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them American citizens, away from their homes and communities to live in prison camps with substandard living conditions. This is a reminder to me, that I need to buy nice birthday present for my dad! If it’s the 75th anniversary, then that can only mean my dad is turning 75 this year. He was born in Tule Lake Relocation Camp, several months after my family was incarcerated. He was three-years-old when he was released.
This project is in response to the EO 9066 anniversary, as well as the current federal public policy of discrimination and systematic racism that judges people by their racial identity and takes away their human rights.
The choice of weaving in Japanese traditional fabric is to send pride of heritage back to my family and community as they were shamed into the idea of being an enemy race. It would connect my handiwork in contemporary time to the handiwork of my community during incarceration.
Camouflage visually protects people and objects, blending them into their environs. With this camouflage net, my intention is to create a discrimination filter, through which we can see the true nature of people as being interconnected with each other, the environment and the universe.
Thus far, I have applied to install the net in a public outdoor space and am waiting for the results. I am anticipating the open period for a few more exhibit proposal calls in the coming months, and intend to apply to those as well. With the 75th anniversary of EO9066, I hope to fully cook this project for this year.
March 30, 2017
On the seventh floor of Seattle City Hall, all of my work I have at the moment has been hanging since the beginning of March in a rather secure space, The Mayor’s Gallery, in Mayor Ed Murray’s office. It is so secure, most people haven’t been there, including myself, except for the day the work was installed. If you happen to be meeting with the mayor and/or his staff, please check out my show! It will be up through May 2017.
Here is a detail from my newest 2-D piece, Turtle Rock, 2017, acrylic, pencil, ink, shrinkable film, PVC, resin on wood. I finished it right before installing the show, and I still need to properly document it. Shiny resin, and metal leaf can be challenges in photo documentation. This is the start of series I intend to work on, in response to cultural and community identities that came up during the 2016 Presidential Election. The pieces will be about self-segregation, forced segregation and bubbles.
I was pretty excited to see the new piece sharing the same hallway with Jacob Lawrence’s pieces, at the same time the artist’s Migration Series has been touring the country. The show is at Seattle Art Museum through April 23, 2017. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/migration
We installed 15 craft abstracts, abstractions I made from Perler Fusible beads and had set in an acrylic boxes in 2016 and 2017. Either in July or November of this year, 2017, in South Lake Union or Bellevue, I am looking forward to installing a grid of 30 craft abstracts in a storefront window, for Seattle Storefronts. After the installation, there will be a free and public event to walk to each storefront installation and listen to each artist talk about their work.