Opening Online Reception: Friday, November 13th, 6 pm
Show Runs: November 13 - December 23
Location: Studio Sixty Six, 858 Bank Street unit 101
Certain events can have a major impact that will last a lifetime. The forced removal of the Japanese Canadians - my family was among them - from the west coast into the B.C. interior in 1942 is one of those events. My troubled feelings regarding that traumatic time have remained unfaded along with my ambivalent attitude towards being Canadian of Japanese origin.
Some years ago, as a way of coming to terms with my ethnicity, I began integrating into my predominantly abstract paintings images from traditional Japanese woodblock prints to illustrate the concept of duality - of being Japanese and Canadian. This became, and continues to be, the focus of my work. I still make references to the internment camps because it is never far from my mind - a period that has shaped who I am - but my work now also pays tribute to the strength and determination of the Japanese Canadians who have been able to rebuild their lives and once again become productive members of Canadian society.
The paintings represent an uneasy search for harmony and balance between the two worlds but ultimately they are a celebration of my Asian heritage. I have learned to embrace the two cultures.