We the Ancestors
We the Ancestors, 祖先, 2021, each piece 19” diameter x 2” deep, hand painted sandblasted basalt, Seattle, WA.
These circular stone mon (family crests) represent the resiliency of Seattle’s Japanese American community which was once located here, in the heart of the Chinatown-International District. How do we honor the experiences of our relations in the way that we move through the present and build community for the future?
Matsu 松 : Pine Matsu are symbolic of longevity, virtue, and youth. Japanese immigrants found Pacific Northwest evergreens similar to those they had left behind. Matsu are also used to mark the boundaries of the sacred ground of temples and shrines. May these pines bless this land in remembrance.
Mizuhiki 水引 : Ancient artform using corded paper. This mizuhiki knot is symbolic of the Japanese American community’s strength and fortitude. May it impart this same solidarity and endurance on the current and future inhabitants of the Chinatown-International District.
Kiku and Tanzaku 菊と短冊 : Chrysanthemum and wish flag. Kiku symbolize longevity, rejuvenation, and royal bearing. Tanzaku contain handwritten poems and wishes of gratitude for a good future. They traditionally decorate trees and sacred spaces during festivals. May this pairing evoke healing and dignity in this neighborhood.