Origami for Unity; Individual exhibition, May 31, 2011,
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, México.

Image of paper cranes

In collaboration with Professor Keiko Deguchi of Osaka, Japan (currently faculty at the Universidad Autónoma), the Languages Department of the Universidad, and members of the La Paz community.

Inspired by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake– event experienced directly and intensely by the artist in Sendai– this project was born out of Japanese folklore and international brotherhood: This project is based on the Japanese legend that upon making one thousand cranes, a wish is granted.

A Japanese legend assures that a crane lives a thousand years. Thus, the tradition is that if a person gathers a thousand origami (folded paper) cranes and hangs them from the ceiling on strings, the gods will grant a wish for recovering from an illness or achieving long life.

A little girl, Sadako Sasaki, affected by radiation, thought it selfish to ask recovery only for herself and asked that the effort she was to make, bring peace and healing to all the victims of the world. Sadako was unable to achieve her wish, dying when she had only 644 cranes, but her friends and family decided to finish the one thousand cranes of the tradition.

“The material of dreams which flows from the collective unconscious, is shown in the force of this installation; feeling transformed into universal energy of change.”

Following the tradition of leaving wooden plates at shrines in the hope of wishes coming true, through this event the community of La Paz unified their wishes through the cranes. In addition, during the event a wish tree by the entrance permitted visitors to add their thoughts of collaboration and support for the community of Japan during this time of trouble.

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