Still from Transform : work in progress part one, projection sound work, 5 min 22 sec, 2010
Cultural Heritage is what is transmitted to us in every day life.
This is a projection work based on photography and sound. The continuing work will be presented as photography prints and installation and previewing 2 other works on screen.
The starting point of this work is vintage photographs (from 1900 to 1950 approximately) in a suit case that a man who lived on Maui, Hawaii gave me. Having grown up there, and felt the strength of the Japanese heritage of place, I wish to pay tribute and give renewed value to these photographs in relationship to today.
I reconstitute these images in Japanese-immigration history to Hawaii which began in 1885 that gone through plantation time, war and the post war. They dialogue with photographs taken in last 10 years and especially in February 2010.
I concentrate on the past that remains in the present, how a place carries the lives of the past and consciously or unconsciously we are living in the impact of the past events. This present is the bases of the future and I think that it is important to reflect as we are part of the continuation to the future.
The music was created by Per Platou based on "Sayonara -Japanese fairwell song" by Tokie Tamaki & club Nisei Orchestra, Hawaiian Nisei songs, A musical cocktail of Japanese American songs in 1950's Hawaii.
He created it in the same architecture as the images by putting the emphasis on today's relationship to the past.
The voices that are mixed into the music, come from conversations with Baldwin high school students of all immigration back grounds.
Their speech are strong and individual yet have a common trace.To me they are all chop suey.
The future world will be made out of people who are like them, mixture of cultures in their blood and where they grow up.
I found it important that these voices did not consist only in Japanese decedent as the reality of Hawaii is mixture of immigration as the rest of the world is becoming.
Their opinion echos the images as they sometimes compliments and contradicts. It is a fragments from the conversations that was lead by the initial question: "What does cultural heritage means to you?"
Here Cultural Heritage isn't in a value of the national treasures, but rather what is transmitted to us in every day life : Such as customs,language, food, upbringing and relationship to the cultural origins.
It contains the feeling of what the mixture of culture make us all, the segmentation, connection, disconnection and replacement, misplacement, desire,observation and feelings that is linked to history of all immigration.
We carry the values of today in the liberal economic society with the identity that we never chosen but carry with us all our lives.
Through my work, I wish the audience to reflect it in their own lives. How do they feel about their own cultural heritage and what will be they chose to transmit to the future world.
I would like to thank Maya Hara and John Hara and their parents for making this work possible and For Wailuku Jodo Mission members ( especially, Walter, Tony, Wallie) and Mareo for their hospitality,and Kahului Jodo mission members ( especially Iris and Noriyasu) for their sharing and kindness. Jan Sato for her attentiveness, generosity, and humor, Tony Novak-clifford for his patience,encouragement, service and reliability.
Thank you to all the people who gave me their time and effort for this project.
For people who want to preview this new work please contact.