Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Seattle Public Utilities put out a call for the direct purchase of artworks that represent the experience of communities of color, and of immigrant and refugee communities for the Seattle Public Utilities Portable Works Collection.
They selected my paper cutaway entitled "Mother Asa" for the collection. This piece is part of my exhibition Castle Rock is for Lovers which showed in the alumni gallery at Cornish College of the Arts in 2014.
This body of work was inspired by a collection of photographs from my grandmother's sister beginning in the early 1900s, spanning our family's incarceration during WWII in a Japanese internment camp and the aftermath.
This particular piece is a portrait of my great grandmother, Asa, who was born into a silk dying village in Fukushima. As a young woman she became a picture bride, immigrated to California by sea voyage, and became the wife of a migrant fruit picker. Less than 20 years later she was incarcerated during WWII with her husband and 4 children. After the war she found herself starting all over again, having lost everything, in a housing project in rural eastern Washington. I'm pleased that this homage to my great grandmother will be part of one of the City of Seattle's collections.