Keiko Hara - Topophilia- Ma and Ki
Recent earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear disasters in northern Japan have touched my soul deeply. Through large-scale works on canvas and paper, I examined and created the “Verse- Sukumu” series, which was exhibited at the Perimeter Gallery in Chicago in 2011.
Having lived in the U.S. since 1971, last fall I returned to my hometown in Japan to close my ancestral graveyard. Over three centuries of family are located in that graveyard; I am the last descendant in my family. In the process of this experience I observed an invisible connection and life as a woven spirit through space and time. I became aware that the loss of life is not an ending but rather a beginning. Through the duration of life, existence is a continual process of entering.
As I re-examined my personal history and identity and the unthinkable loss of lives and lands in the disasters of northern Japan, I decided to create an installation work, "Topophilia- Ma and Ki." Topophilia is the term used for grasping the beauty and sadness of life’s passing moments within the context of ephemeral events or images. I use Topophilia as the title because it conveys a sense of the place inside each human being where an exceptional inner power exists. It is our individual "topophilia" that connects us at the same time those cultural and political boundaries separate us. As an artist, I want to transform this topophilia into my artwork. It has been an on-going theme in my work for over 30 years. For this installation I will use printed images made in water-based woodblock with stencil and hand work. These are hung to make a spiral within a space of about 15”x 20”feet and 9 feet high. The space becomes a quiet, fluid, and reflective environment through which viewers can walk to experience a sense of space and duration of time and hopefully consider these qualities in life.
Sound in collaboration with Donald Groscost
Installation Assistant: Amahra Leaman
Video: Cole Pierce