Like Migratory Birds II

(Watari-dori)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(outer)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(back)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(pocket detail)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(lining detail)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(hand-silkscreened yardage detail)

Like Migratory Birds

Like Migratory Birds

(quilting and foiling detail)

Jacket Outer: 5-screen silkscreen print with foiling and quilting on cotton sateen

Jacket Lining: chinasilk naturally dyed with quince fruit

dimensions vary

Dec 2017

"Like Migratory Birds" is one of several ongoing works investigating former Internee Toru Saito's description of the Topaz Relocation Center:

Topaz seems like one big graveyard, a graveyard of broken lives, broken promises, and broken dreams. There are still many ghosts and spirits haunting the grounds of Topaz today. They hide in trenches and beneath the sagebrush. Unable to return to life as they once knew it, they remain prisoners of the decaying and rusting barbed wire fences.

Thinking about the way their community had been uprooted by the US Government, internees sometimes referred to themselves as watari-dori, or migratory birds. Colloquially, watari-dori is used to describe a migrant people, or a people without roots. "Like Migratory Birds" investigates this conflict between a people who are physically rootless but bound together by a trauma intrinsically involving a specific place by recreating a context that can be worn on the body. Using the directional indicators of the compass, silhouettes of cranes are printed facing the West, while the foiled cranes face the East-- following a separate migratory pattern. The figures are also oriented to the West, to parallel the multiple layers of crane silhouettes. 

The process of "Migratory Birds" focuses on building up layers of information through both additive and subtractive mediums in silkscreen printing. In an effort to recreate the aesthetic signifiers of washi paper, the final layer is gold foil. The base layer is a photo-manipulated repeat pattern created with stills taken from Dave Tatsuno's secret footage of Topaz, and the figures in the foil layer are drawings made from official photographs in the University of Utah's online database that depict Topaz residents waiting in lines.