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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Tomiko Jones

SPE Member since 2007
Member Chapter: West

Hatsubon

"Hatsubon" is a ceremony marking the first anniversary of a loved one's death, held during the yearly ritual of O-bon, a Japanese Buddhist custom of honoring ancestors. Exploring the dynamic tension between tradition and performance, the work is a memorial for my father, and includes portraits of him in the diaphanous space between life and death. A ritual associated with O-bon is the shoryobune. My mother, sister and I all remembered the boat we used to send out when my sister and I were children. I made my own version by splitting, steaming, and bending bamboo into a boat form and skinning it with waxed kozo paper. Robed in simple kimonos we sewed ourselves, the three of us sent the boat to sea at dawn on O-bon from the shores of Hawai'i.

"Hatsubon" evidences how cultural customs, design, and materials are part of my creative methodology. The materiality of the exhibition suggests the dualities of the fleeting and the lasting, the ephemeral and the corporeal, and the pendulous state between longing and release.

Installed in a gallery close to my father's birthplace, "Hatsubon: Passage" is a layered three-channel video installation with three significant sites of water: Monongahela River, Pennsylvania (my father's birthplace); Pacific Coast, California (my birthplace and where my parents met); Big Island, Hawai'i (my mother's birthplace) repeated in memorial reflecting pools, a skeleton boat of ribs made of ash wood, and an oar carved of cherry wood after an end-of-life conversation between my father and I about passage to the other side.

Photographs were made with a 4x5 field camera and are printed on silk as hanging pieces, pigment prints and piezography.

Fall

Urn

Shoryabune

Reliquary (view)

Reliquary

Reliquary

Reliquary

Reliquary

Reliquary

Monongahela River 1

Monongahela River 2

Ray

Remains

River to Sea

Bring Me the Oar!

Skeleton Boat

Installation View: Desai|Matta Gallery

Installation View: Desai|Matta Gallery

Installation View: Desai|Matta Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

Installation View: Kipp Gallery

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