Tribute to Okawa District
Sunflowers welcomed my arrival at a tsunami-ravaged town in Japan. As the plant is known to grow well in salt-laden soils, locals and volunteers had sown the seeds hopefully. My senses were awestricken by this bursting force of life in the sea of ruins.
The children, like sunflowers, also carried this force of life to the evacuation centers, where their energy and laughter lifted the spirits of the adults.
In Okawa District, the tsunami snatched away the adults’ vigor. This was compounded by certain school officials having made the deadly error of choosing the wrong evacuation route for the children. The school’s delay in apologizing for their terrible error further heightened the seriousness of the disaster, angering the survivors. Some parents wondered whether they should accept this as an inevitable consequence of a natural calamity and move forward, or should they sue the school? Their opinions divided, their wounds deepened.
In the midst, someone suggested that they plant sunflowers at the school ground. Initially the young plants did not thrive. The fathers hauled in water and new soil. The mothers weeded. As they tended the plants, they realized that their children would certainly not wish them to bury the rest of their lives in blame and regret. For the sake of the children, they were to LIVE fully.
That summer, the symbol of resilience grew strong stems and blossomed toward the sun.
I give lots of thoughts to each of my art, especially on those pieces that express my experience in the tsunami ravaged region of Japan. The text that follows the slideshow will explain to you why the sunflowers and children mean significant to me.
With an Ute woman and animals of the Rockies, I created this piece for Colorado, anticipating my participation in Loveland Sculpture Show. Compared to meticulously-carved bronze sculptures at the outdoor show, this piece looked amateurish, earthy, and unique. My confidence was crashed, but I'm coming out of it rather quickly, thinking how I can further the uniqueness of my art. It will be my homework for the coming year.
About "Art in Process"
This page is an window for you to see my creative process. I would like to encourage you to leave your comments here. I hunger for a conversation with you about my art. What kind of emotions or thoughts did my art provoke you? What did you like/dislike? What viewpoint do you agree/disagree to? Your honest feedback will feed my art going forward. Thank you.