Installations / Practice Makes Perfect (2023)
About my mother’s calligraphy -- When I traveled back to Japan about 7 years ago, I visited my parents’ home and found a large amount of my mother’s calligraphy in stacks to be recycled. I remembered how she started practicing calligraphy many years ago and spent a lot of time prac- ticing as she had free time, usually well into the night. She told me that the reason she stopped doing calligraphy was because she no longer felt she had the time because she needed to take care of my father who had dementia. At the time, I felt compelled to keep her calligraphy, but did not know why. I managed to bring some of them back to the US upon my return, and have kept them ever since with the intention of doing something with them eventually.
The more I reflect on my experiences living away from Japan, and what it means for my identity, the more I am drawn to my mother’s art. This installation reflects my experience during a recent trip to Japan, particularly seeing my mother who is now in assisted care living. It was very intense, as every day it was possibly the last time I would see her. I decided to combine some of her calligraphy pieces with my Tyvek work to express the moment, and the reality that we are different and apart, but also connected in a way that is very special. I chose the red palette for the Tyvek because, for me, these prints represent the energy and intensity I felt during this most recent trip to Japan.
Mother's calligraphy, Monotype on Tyvek
Photo: Wes Magyar