Based in archival research, my practice blends family legends and artifacts with publicly accessible historical documents that illuminate my family’s experience as interned Japanese-Americans at the Topaz Relocation Center. With formal focus on the matrix in the context of weaving and printmaking, I work to embody the dissolution and reconstruction of my inherited narrative. More broadly, my practice explores the generational repercussions of politicizing migration, and how forced relocation impacts our relationship with orientation or place.
I find weaving the ultimate iteration of the matrix used as reconstructive element: with each swing of the beater, I piece together a narrative from countless tangent lines, structure dependent on both the properties of the material itself and how the matrix is established. I have been disrupting this cohesion by making the matrices or material somehow ‘unsustainable’— burning away, dissolving, or puncturing substrates. Because of the archival nature of my work, I often position myself within my practice at the ‘fell line’ of my familial context—weaving towards the extending horizon of the warp, but with the woven yardage as a receipt of its history.
I reference the archival databases of the Topaz Museum and Utah State University, as well as my own family's photographs and artifacts. I frequently utilize Dave Tatsuno's secret film footage of Topaz, and many texts (including this poem, "Roots") from my great-aunt Toyo Suyemoto's posthumously-published memoir I Call to Remembrance.
The roots of being will endure,
No matter what,
To probe the earth for whys
That time forgot
To answer when the blossom died
And green leaves curled
As long as roots can grasp
This wherefore world.