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Trust through art and its practice : a/r/tography study Gillard, Takako 2014

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     TRUST THROUGH ART AND ITS PRACTICE: AN A/R/TOGRAPHY STUDY  by  Takako Gillard  B.F.A. Honours, The University of British Columbia, 2011      A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Art Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2014     © Takako Gillard, 2014 ii    Abstract  Beginning with art as life and art practice as living inquiry1, my investigation starts with the question,   How can we trust each other through art and its practice?  Throughout my Art-based research, A/r/tography study, I examine how I deal with obstacles in my life by looking back at my childhood memories and my artistic practice.      I have always been interested in dialogic relationships with others. My past experiences guide me in understanding reciprocal relationships among diverse people who live in multicultural communities. This interest has led me to analyze how the Great East Japan Earthquake that hit Tohoku on March 11, 2011 affected me as a Japanese immigrant.   This thesis includes: autobiographic narratives; the visit to Tohoku reflected in my art practice; stories of an artist, Linda Ohama, a Japanese Canadian filmmaker who supports Tohoku people through her art and creative process; and my past art practices. This collection of work (method) represents my own tsunamis as I face privilege, responsibility and respect that reciprocate with my feelings of trust. Tsunami, as a metaphor of life, is a central theme.   The problem I have is that I often distrust myself when I encounter obstacles in my life. As I inquire more deeply through my art-based research—conceptually, spiritually, and theoretically—I come to understand that each experience of distrust I have had in the past is an evolution, part of my own tsunamis within which I re-examine the meaning of life, personal values, and humanity. There I learn from the differences between myself and others. This thesis is presented as an event, which includes a series of my own tsunamis, divided into four exhibitions. I welcome and invite you as a reader to become a participant.                                                                                                                  1  I learned about Living Inquiry in the book Being with A/r/tography in 2011 and the UBC graduate course, A/r/tography taught by Dr. Rita Irwin in 2012, and also it was introduced again in a graduate course offered at the UBC in 2013 by Dr. Karen Meyer, who explained it as a practice that helps us to be aware of the existence of self and others in the world.  iii    Preface  This thesis is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Takako Gillard (Artist Name: Yoriko Gillard) Obtained the certificate of approval-minimal risk (UBC BREB Number: H13-03483) by Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, The Behavioural Research Ethics Board, UBC for interviews to Linda Ohama. Principal Investigator was Dr. Rita L. Irwin and this certificate was approved in January 8, 2014 and will expire in January 8, 2015. Project Title is How can we trust each other through art and its practice?   iv    Table of Contents    Abstract ................................................................................................................... ii   Preface ................................................................................................................... iii   Table of Contents .................................................................................................. iv   List of Figures .......................................................................................................... v   List of Poems .......................................................................................................... vi   Acknowledgements ............................................................................................... vii Dedication .............................................................................................................. ix The Event ............................................................................................................... xi          Exhibit ion 1: Memory of Reciprocal Relationships (Introduction)  ........... 1 Memory of Pain ............................................................................................ 2 Memory of Community ................................................................................ 3 ‘Art’ vs. ‘art’ (I) .............................................................................................. 7 Magic Number ‘3’ ....................................................................................... 11 ‘Art’ vs. ‘art’ (II) ........................................................................................... 15             Exhibit ion 2: Kizuna   ............................................................................... 21 3.11, Disaster, Trauma, and: 心のケア:(Kokoro no kea): Trust ........... 24 ‘art’ as Reflective-self ................................................................................... 28 Kizuna: Bond (2013) ................................................................................... 31             Exhibit ion 3: Learn Future Re - learn Past in Present   ............................. 47 Personal Story as Research ......................................................................... 48 Redirection of Trust ................................................................................... 53 Mind as a Way of Connecting .................................................................... 57 Assumption as a Practice of Living Inquiry ................................................ 66 Knowing as a Progressive Mental Activity .................................................. 69 A/r/tographer: Linda Ohama .................................................................... 70 Trust as Practice .......................................................................................... 71             Exhibit ion 4: Yoriko Gil lard  ................................................................... 77 First Place for .............................................................................................. 80 Trust in Others through Visual Experience ............................................... 87             Epilogue (Conclusion)   ............................................................................. 103 Trusting Myself: Tsunami as a Part of My Evolution ............................... 104 Living as Wisdom ..................................................................................... 106             References ........................................................................................................... 112             Appendix ............................................................................................................. 120        v    List of Figures   1. Self-portrait (1) ................................................................................................................ x 2. Caught in the Middle (1/2) ............................................................................................. 6 3. Portrait of me ............................................................................................................... 10 4. Yuriage, Miyagi, Tohoku (1/2) .................................................................................. 22 5. Kizuna (1) ...................................................................................................................... 32 6. Kizuna (2/3) .................................................................................................................. 39 7. Kizuna (4/5) .................................................................................................................. 40 8. Kizuna (6/7) .................................................................................................................. 41 9. Kizuna (8) ...................................................................................................................... 42 10. Kizuna (9/10/11) ......................................................................................................... 43 11. Kizuna (12/13) ............................................................................................................. 44 12. Kizuna (14) .................................................................................................................... 45 13. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students…(1) .................................. 56 14. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students…(2) .................................. 59 15. Identity .......................................................................................................................... 63 16. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students…(3) .................................. 65 17. Piece of me .................................................................................................................... 79 18. Painting as Personal Pleasure ..................................................................................... 81 19. Painting as Research: Canadian Domestics ............................................................. 82 20. “ART”, part of Self-portrait (1/2) ............................................................................. 83 21. “ART” (1) ...................................................................................................................... 84 22. “ART” (2/3) .................................................................................................................. 85 23. “ART” (4/5) .................................................................................................................. 86 24. “ART” (6) ...................................................................................................................... 89 25. “ART” (7/8) .................................................................................................................. 90 26. “ART” (9/10) ............................................................................................................... 91 27. “ART” (11) .................................................................................................................... 92 28. “ART” (12) .................................................................................................................... 95 29. “ART” (13) .................................................................................................................... 96 30. “ART” (14) .................................................................................................................... 97 31. Intercultural ART ........................................................................................................ 98 32. Cross-cultural sculpture ‘New Born’ (1/2) .............................................................. 99 33. Process of art-making ................................................................................................. 109 34. Self-portrait (2) ........................................................................................................... 111         vi    List of Poems Caught in the Middle ........................................................................................... 5 脳裏に潜在し得る他者との関わり方 ........................................................................... 9 Reciprocity of minds between self and others .............................................................. 9 Caught in the Middle (Continued) ................................................................... 14 Wisdom .............................................................................................................. 17 My Liminal Place ................................................................................................ 23 3.11 ..................................................................................................................... 27 Kizuna: Bond (2013), Art-based research process .............................................. 33 春の声 .................................................................................................................. 62 Spring Voice .......................................................................................................... 64 風がささやいた (Whispering Wind) ................................................................... 68 Who am I? ............................................................................................................ 78 3=1 .................................................................................................................... 110                             vii    Acknowledgements  I express my sincere gratitude to all the faculty, staff, and fellow students at the University of British Columbia who have supported, inspired, and believed in me during my life journey at the Master of Arts program.  Dr. Rita L. Irwin has been my supervisor, committee member, mentor, teacher and my life guide. I would like to thank her for clear, concise, and kind advice on my study, which helped me to connect and reconnect with my life through conceptual inquiries. Her bright cheerful smile and positive attitude have taught me to live wisely as an educator. I could not come this far without such a dedicated scholar.  Dr. Karen Meyer, my committee member whose presence and gratitude as well as her warm gaze have continuously encouraged my creative writing and helped me to believe in myself. I revisited my passion in writing in her course Living Inquiry where her desire to open up each of our new living inquiries provided us the opportunity to have democratic dialogues. I truly appreciate her sincere guidance.  Dr. Carl Leggo is full of wisdom and has been inspiring many, including myself through his arts-based work. I sincerely thank him as my committee member who supported and believed in my ability. His genuinely warm presence reminds me to enjoy the process of learning the future and re-learning the past in our present time, his words are contagious, “Live poetically.”  Artist, Linda Ohama has been my mentor and life teacher. Her spirit and wisdom have been the core energy of my artistic journey. Her life is art itself, which has the ability to connect with many people across borders. Without her encouragement, I could not have realized my position in liminal space: as a truly positive space from which to work.   I owe my deepest gratitude to all my friends, relatives, family members, and especially my spouse who have been closely supporting me during the process of this MA program. Without all your kindness and trust in my ability, I could not complete my journey.   献身的かつ精神的サポートをして下さった家族、親戚、親友そして最も大切な人生の伴侶であるスティーブに心から感謝しています。皆様が信頼してくれたおかげで、ここまでやり遂げる事が出来ました。    viii       Lastly, I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to Chikara and Naru, the family dogs who supported and comforted my parents and myself. Their presence helped my family to overcome difficulties while my parents suffered with their serious health downturns.   最後になりましたが、家族の一員である愛犬のチカラとナルには、私や両親の辛い時期を一緒に乗り越えくてれたことに、深く感謝しています。  Thank you very much everyone...  皆様、本当に有り難うございました。                     ix    Dedication  I dedicate this thesis to my mother, Sachiko Kamiya, who has been my best friend, mentor, and life teacher, and Masanori Kamiya, my father, who inspired and taught me to appreciate nature as part of life since my early age.   母、神谷幸子は私にとって親友でもあり、尊敬する人生の指導者そして師匠でもあります。父、神谷正則は私の幼少期から、人生の軸となる自然を愛する心の大切さを教えてくれました。そんな掛け替えのない両親にこの論文を捧げます。  I also dedicate this work to my favorite grandparents, and my uncle Toshiyuki who had a wonderful smile when I visited him in Japan in 2013. You are no longer with us here yet will live in my memory forever.   及び、今は亡き最愛の祖父母と、昨年私が帰国した際に身体が辛い状態にも関わらず、いつもの笑顔で迎えてくれた叔父(利ちゃん)が、生涯私の記憶の中で生き続けてくれることへの感謝の気持をここに記させて頂きます。  The person I would like to dedicate this thesis and appreciate the most is my spouse Steven L. Gillard who owns the purest heart and is the most beautiful human being I have ever met in my life. His genuinely contagious and sincere personality haunts all the people he comes across in his life. I am living in my dream of being with the person I admire for his honesty and wisdom forever. I truly believe his ability to naturally attract people of different ages, genders, nationalities, cultures, statuses and values was formed in his young age guided by his parents, siblings, relatives, friends and teachers of Newfoundland where he grew up and went to school. He always talks about this place with joy. All of which have also been a great support in my life…    x        1. Self-portrait (1), 20102                                                                                                                  2 This artwork was installed at both of my art events: “ART” and Caught in the Middle, AMS Gallery UBC, 2010 xi    The Event Trust through Art and Its Practice Yoriko Gillard  v Exhibition 1: Memory of Reciprocal Relationships  This introductory exhibition sketches my position in contemporary culture. While you explore my memories through my artwork and autobiography, you may also experience the anxiety that is present. The narration begins as you enter this exhibition:  “I still guard the girl in my memory who was alone at night and scared...who could not trust herself...” v Exhibition 2: Kizuna   In this opening exhibition, Kizuna, I share my desire and struggle as an artist living in Canada, particularly after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011. I invite you as witness to walk along my artistic journey of pain, while I reflect sincerely on my feelings towards Japan, an ocean away. v Exhibition 3: Learn Future Re-learn Past in Present  In this exhibition, I invite you to connect with me through your creative mind. As an artist, researcher, and educator, I would like to engage you to explore what it means to relate to others through one’s unknown and unclear metacognition. The exhibition includes conceptual work (words) of Linda Ohama, which is a key component of understanding my own artistic practice.  v Exhibition 4: Yoriko Gillard3  In the final exhibition, I explain who Yoriko Gillard is and how, when, where, what and why I have been investigating: the feeling of ‘trust’ in my life through my creative practice and sharing my insights with all my audiences. The performance “ART” is one of many art practices that I have shared to challenge dialogues among multicultural groups of people. “ART” is reviewed in this exhibition.  v Epilogue   While the question, “How can we trust each other through art and its practice?” resonates through all four exhibitions, in the end I have come to understand that there are inevitable, reciprocal relationships between myself and others based on human trust, formed alongside privilege, responsibility, and respect with regards to the existence of others.                                                                                                               3 The name ‘Yoriko’ was given to me by my parents when I was a child. I have been using the name ‘Yoriko Gillard’ as my artist name. Takako (birth name) Gillard, is the curator of the event (thesis) xii             v Exhibition 1: Memory of Reciprocal Relationships  This introductory exhibition sketches my position in contemporary culture. While you explore my memories through my artwork and autobiography, you may also experience the anxiety that is present. The narration begins as you enter this exhibition: 1      !"""!!!"#$%&%'%()!*!""#"""""  !"#$%&'$(')"*+,%$*-.')".-/+$012+,1'""""""""2    Memory of Pain I still guard the girl in my memory who was alone at night and scared...who could not trust herself...who drew quietly in a dark room accompanied by a ticking clock. Being an only child, painting and poetry became a few of my tools to connect with people.                   My memory holds that shy girl reading a book in a quiet classroom during recess. The shy girl, whose paintings took the gold, was not the girl I was...the name on my artwork started to walk by itself in school without me being aware of its public appearance.                My parents never cared much about this, instead I gained my friends’, their mothers’ and my teachers’ attention. Despite all of this, my intention of creating anything was always self-reflection rather than impressing others. I recall a little girl without smile in front of her sketchbook. It was never fun to paint or write poems. It was painful.                 I was worried about losing my mother who had a heart problem. As a child, I had a desire to make her happy as soon as I could. My heart knew her restless thoughts of my future after her death. We were fighting...together. Mother used to say, “Please become independent before I die...being a woman is hard...can you show me that you can survive without me?” By age seven, I could cook, sew, wash clothes, clean and look after myself. I could not smile at home.    3    Memory of Community  We were living in government housing where I met many talented and kind friends with whom I have since lost contact. There was a boy I played with. I heard that he was born with a hearing impairment. We spoke through visual imagery. He could draw anything I requested. We would draw and draw on the wall of the apartment located at the bottom of the stairs. It became our bulletin board. I thought of him as my big brother and wished we went to the same school, but we did not. I now realized that I trusted him more than my classmates. We could understand each other through our hearts.               There was a girl, a beautiful girl living behind my apartment. She had to share her father with another family. She was the fastest runner in my school. I mean ‘fast’. She always looked strong and beautiful while running with the wind, like a young swallow cutting through the air. I liked her look, so strong and confident in herself. I used to cheer for her from the school window, admiring in silence. My gaze towards her reflected on the window and I whispered, “Don’t worry, I know, I know...I know. Run!”               The boy who lived in front of my apartment always got into trouble in school and at home. I heard that he was expelled from my elementary school one day. The school saw a problem with his family and him. When he was still going to my school, he often called me to join him with his group of friends as they explored neighbourhoods. They wore colourful clothing that I did not have. I answered, “No, thank you”. I did not like seeing my friend disguising his true 4    feelings in front of his friends and adults because I could feel his pain. I listened when we were alone, when he could become who he was, kind and sad at the same time in my eyes. We used to talk about life on a seesaw beside my apartment. He listened and I said, “I know. It’s not your fault”...many times in my mind.                The small community park beside my apartment was my oasis, my escape from school, classmates, and the eyes of society.  Many mothers, fathers, and elderly people watched over this place while complaining about their hard lives almost every day. I liked to listen to these adults who treated me as their child. There were reciprocal relationships between the community and me as we sought to overcome countless obstacles together.     5    Caught in the Middle  Caught in the middle of the Past and Future, Japan and Canada, Girl and Woman, Obligation and Passion, Sense of Amateur and Professional artists.  My mother was a beautiful woman. My father was also a handsome man. I was not a pretty girl.  I hated myself.  I hated being tall. I hated being skinny. I hated being shy. I hated being alone. I hated not being pretty.  I hated myself.  I loved people. I loved seeing people being happy. I loved to make people happy. I loved to be with people I love.  Caught in the middle of Past and Future, Japan and Canada, Girl and Woman, Obligation and Passion, Sense of Amateur and Professional artists. …  (2009) 4                                                                                                               4  This poem, Caught in the Middle (2009) was presented at my solo exhibitions Caught in the Middle intentionally organized within UBC property to raise a question “What is art and who decides who is an artist?” Exhibited at:   • AHVA (the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory) Lum Space, UBC (2009)  • AMS (the Alma Mater Society) Art Gallery, UBC (2010) • The Boulevard Coffee Roasting. Co., UBC (2010) • Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge, UBC (2011) http://www.ahva.ubc.ca/eventsDetails.cfm?EventID=979&EventTypeNumID=3    6       2. Caught in the Middle (1/2) post card, 20095                                                                                                                 5 Caught in the Middle exhibition (2009) has been introduced in AHVA (Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory) website as part of my exhibition detail.  http://www.ahva.ubc.ca/eventsDetails.cfm?EventID=785&EventTypeNumID=5 7    ‘Art ’  vs .  ‘art ’  (I )  I was an insecure girl and I am still an insecure woman in front of certain people. I have trusted people easily all my life, not realizing this could be a weakness. I thought it was important to trust people who had authority. I especially thought that if people were called ‘teachers’, they must earn students’ trust. I thought teachers, or whoever had the privilege to educate others, had responsibilities to nurture their students rather than oppress students with their power.                  I trusted my view about art. I believed poetry was art.  However, in one of the Visual Arts classes at UBC, a lecturer told the class that poetry was not ‘Art’ after I presented my poem about my mother’s heart that accompanied my sculpture. At that point, this lecturer’s statement was not intended to give my classmates and me a chance to think critically about poetry. The lecturer continued, “I don’t know Japanese culture...I don’t understand poetry…how can poetry be art (laugh).”  I was shocked as were many others in the class. I trusted what I perceived as the authority of the lecturer when I registered in the course. I was willing to learn what was new and different, but I was not ready to accept humiliation. I was perhaps naïve. This was my tsunami. My feeling of trust towards Western academic art education became questionable. At that moment I could not trust the lecturer or some of my classmates, who agreed with this view. James Habyarimana, Macartan Humphreys, Daniel N. Posner, and Jeremy M. Weinstein (2009) explain, “...trust is a belief that the other person will take an action in one’s own interest, perhaps in response to a trusting action. It is a belief that the other is trustworthy” (p. 42).  After this experience I had a great deal of discussion about the incident with many people from different backgrounds as I tried to rebuild my trust in myself and in the educational environment. I now actively write poems in my journals: field notes that have become one of the 8    most truthful forms of art expression I have chosen to practice. My grade suffered in that course, but I learned to be honest with who I am. I do not believe that the lecturer was either responsible or respectful. Yet, I assume, the individual was aware of academic privilege. According to Henry Farrell (2009), trust is fundamentally situated in continuous personal relationships among individuals who know each other well. This relationship is reciprocal and benefits all. However, if this relationship is not perfect, we run the risk of losing trust. (p. 130). I have been taking many risks as I learn to be honest with who I am.  …individuals will trust each other when their trust is anchored in valuable relationships. The relationship, however, may be valuable because of affective ties rather than material interests. One may perhaps trust a family member or close friend because one knows that the relationship is emotionally valuable to the other person; there need not be any material benefits involved in the relationship...the degree to which one party trusts another may vary according to the power relations between them…. (Farrell, p. 131) The power of relationship that Ferrell is talking about exists everywhere in life especially in learning environments. If trust is not easy to build among strangers, how can we trust each other through art and its practice? How can I trust my own creative practice and be able to share and connect with my audience honestly? These questions became the focus of my living inquiry.       9        脳裏に潜在し得る他者との関わり方   自分が自分じゃなくなる。 自分を信じられなくなる程辛い瞬間が生きている間には幾度もある。 どうして取り戻せばいいのだろう・・・ 脳裏を駆け巡る記憶に涙腺が緩んだ瞬間、少しだけ自分が取り戻される。 全ては自分の中の記憶が他者との関わりの中で高揚する感情に溺れる瞬間である。 脳の働きが尋常でない感情を左右する瞬間に他者との相違に意味を見出す。 自分が戻り始める。 ゆっくりとそして確実にその色を持ち得ながら・・・ そして自分が自分である事を感じる瞬間に私は声を上げて泣くのである。   Reciprocity of minds between self and others  Losing myself... Becoming insecure in a moment of countless obstacles I experience in my life. How can I gain back my trust to become confident with who I am… The past tells me the meanings of incidents in my life…tears fall to catch my lost mind. I can catch myself in a slight moment when my mind and senses  emerge with conflicts of perceptions with others. I am coming back slowly and surely with some colours that only I can see perhaps... The moment I feel myself as who I am, I cry out loud in public.  (2013)     10         3. Portrait of me, 2012 (Original: Caught in the Middle, 2009)6                                                                                                                    6 The original photo of Caught in the Middle (2009) has been exhibited at all Caught in the Middle exhibitions at UBC. The original photo was taken at the Nitobe Garden, UBC when I was searching for my identity. The reflection of the Japanese garden in the pond included the tall trees that are not usually found in a Japanese garden in Japan. I felt odd to see this combination. So, I thought placing this photo upside down portrait more of my identity; a Japanese immigrant trying to fit in the Canadian environment. (See also footnote 1, p. 5) 11    I am interested in the reciprocal relationship among people that can be created through art. I write, paint, draw, take photos, create sculptures, perform, research, teach and raise questions in every aspect of my life. Art is an outlet for me to have dialogue with people who have had different experiences. I realize that by crossing the Pacific Ocean I was afforded new experiences that helped me understand who I am. I am a Japanese immigrant living in Canada, who is insecure with many things. Yet I have learned to use this fear for personal gain as I attempt to communicate with other people truthfully. In Being with A/r/tography, Rita Irwin and Stephanie Springgay (2008) explain, “Living inquiry is a life commitment to the arts and education through acts of inquiry...A/r/tography is a living practice, a life creating experience examining our personal, political and/or professional lives” (p. xxix). I am curious as to how we can develop feelings of trust between and among people. Tom Anderson (1995) shares his view: ...the Japanese rock garden makes apparent that no one view, no individual perception can encompass or apprehend its multiplicity of views, layers, and meanings. Yet each view is valuable in and of itself. And each is complete and satisfying, and whole unto itself. Insight and meaning result not only from perception, but from the application of intellect and emotion to an interpretation of what is seen. Different minds and different hearts create different meanings from the same physical perception. (p. 198)  Magic Number ‘3’  My parents told me to aim for the middle grade on a scale of 1 to 5 in school. They said “If you aim for ‘3’, you will know what you enjoy or not in your life.” They had no interest in my grades in academic subjects, but my mother cared about my writing. She made me write a letter to her when 12    I did something wrong, and she wrote me back each time. I studied Japanese calligraphy and became accomplished. It is a beautiful way to express words emotionally by using one brush and ink. The Japanese language became more than just a communication tool in my early age. It was part of my life and became my art, and a friend.  As a child, I did not have pressure to get a ‘5’, which was the top grade, as many of my friends did. I could focus on what I enjoyed in school. I understood what subject I liked when I received ‘5’s. I was not interested in English and did not like how we needed to memorize it mechanically. I did not have an opportunity to understand its beauty without having English speakers around me.  One thing that my parents really cared about in my report cards was the teacher’s comment about me. They said that grades did not tell them about my personal development, which was what interested them. They treasured the teachers’ comments that they believed were telling the truth of my personal development outside of my normal comfortable home life. I thought they did not love me as a child since I did not have many toys like other children. They both needed to work and I spent most of my day alone at home. When I was outside, I was good at taking care of young children and also enjoyed participating in community activities. I was shy but sociable. My personality helped me when I later became a Beautician (stylist) and later decided to study English abroad. I could make international friends easily. I indeed became an independent woman who loves teaching and expressing my feelings in public.  It is obvious now that my parents trusted me, as well as others, like my teachers. I believe my teachers also trusted my parents. I still recall the exact words my mother used to tell every homeroom teacher at our parents-student-teacher meeting. Mother always started her sentence 13    with, “I trust your judgment as her teacher…” and continued with her message that my teachers could punish me the way they would punish their own child if I behaved badly towards other people in school.  I was too young to understand why she said the same thing to every teacher and why my meeting was always very short compared to other classmates’ meetings. My friends used to ask me, “Why is your meeting so quick?” I did not know the answer because I did not know what the other parents talked about with the teachers. However, one thing I knew was that there were trusting reciprocal relationships that existed between my mother, the teachers and me.   14    … My mother has the most beautiful smile. My father is the most gentle person. I am the most optimistic woman.  I like myself.  I like being tall. I like being skinny. I like being shy. I like being alone. I like not being pretty.  I like myself.  I love people. I love seeing people being happy. I love to make people happy. I love to be with people I love.  Caught in the middle of Past and Future, Japan and Canada, Girl and Woman, Obligation and Passion,  Sense of Amateur and Professional artists.  (Caught in the Middle, 2009)   15    ‘Art ’  vs .  ‘art ’  (II)  There seems to be some sort of hierarchy in Western art culture that inhibits the acceptance of certain creative acts as ‘Art’. For example, during my undergraduate years, I was taught to judge what good ‘Art’ was. Because of this, I witnessed some students losing their interest in contemporary academic art practices. Many rejected the idea of elitist ‘Art’ in order to have a commercial art practice that would fulfill their desire to communicate with society. For this reason, I started to ask myself, “What is the purpose of art practice in Western art academies?” I was stuck with one problem: a language dissonance between ‘Art’ from the West, ‘art’ from the East, and ‘art’ from Indigenous cultures.  There are many creators in Japan who prefer to be called ‘skilled masters’ rather than ‘Artists.’  However, all of their creations could be respected as ‘art’: 芸術 (geijyutsu) in Japanese 芸(gei) can be translated in English as ‘art, craft, accomplishment, artistic skill, technique, and performance,’ and 術 (jyutsu) can be translated as ‘a way, method, technique, meaning, and art.’ This is the reason Japanese perspective of ‘art’ cannot be translated directly to ‘Art’ in the Western perspective.  I value Japanese culture that is reflected in the art of everyday Japanese life, such as traditional Japanese cuisine, 和食 (washoku) 7and the Way of Tea, 茶道 (sadō).  I also appreciate Japanese poetry 俳句 (haiku) that speaks to people’s hearts. As simplicity, 侘・寂 (wabisabi) is a well-known term in Japanese aesthetic theory; Japanese culture has a long history of representing                                                                                                               7In December 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) agreed to register washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) as an intangible cultural heritage, a social custom handed down from generation to generation that expresses Japanese people’s respect for nature. http://www.nippon.com/en/genre/culture/l00052/  16    its own understanding of ‘art’. Many people are interested in this theory and try to learn its philosophy. In the past, I have tried to integrate the philosophies of East and West. I find it challenging to be understood in the West. Dan Nadaner (1984) says, ...social theory contributes a great deal to art education especially that being aware of different cultural and historical backgrounds to understand works of art are challenging yet necessary…art by itself is an extremely general term without reference to ideology.  (p. 25) Here, I want to share my experiences that helped me to understand this view more clearly. From January 17th to March 28th, 2010, Backstory was exhibited by Ki-ke-in at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC. In our personal conversation, Ki-ke-in explained his view of ‘art’ and ‘artist’ from his culture, Nuuchaanulth. He said that his culture and Japanese culture share many similarities compared to the English speaking culture in Canada. Ki-ke-in (2010) educated me:  In my language there are no words and no need for words to equate with the words ‘Art’ and ‘Artist’ in English. We have a word for ‘gifted at’ or ‘highly talented’…I believe art and the study thereof is all about privilege and power…what I am doing is just telling the stories....  I was comforted by his words and wisdom.  Kristin Congdon (1989) explains how language forms one’s ideology, what is important in our lives and how we perceive art and culture. Given this, people from one culture may or may not perceive a creation as art in another culture, and may also perceive some art as more highly valued than others. Congdon adds that the most important thing is to acknowledge differences in each other in order to appreciate art in your own way (p. 179-180).   17      Wisdom  My past stuck in a bubble of resentment My thoughts circulate in my mind   beautiful...  Stars brink above me without borders Losing my sense of belonging positively  beautiful...  Sounds of crisp air hold my body tightly I now can smile to the starling stars which I don’t know their names   It is time to move on  (2014)   18    The word ‘trust’ is used often in our conversations, yet trust is neither obvious or a clear term that can be translated from one language/culture to another. Therefore, how people build a feeling of trust with others is something I deem important to investigate.  I believe, in order to be able to trust other people, we first need to give others space to be comfortable with themselves and not force them to be assimilated by another. Karen Meyer explained this as self-realization of “letting others be irreducible other”, which acknowledges the existence of others as who they are in the world (UBC Graduate Course, 2013; see also Meyer, 2006; 2010). Luce Irigaray (2002) elaborates this point. “Silencing what we already know is often more useful in order to let the other appear, and light ourselves up through this entry into presence irreducible to our knowledge” (p. 165). This ‘silencing’ eventually helps in understanding our differences and leads to trusting one another. Bernard Barber (1992) reminds us that trust is a social phenomenon: ‘Trust’ is one of those social phenomena that we all have some common sense apprehension about but that are still badly in need of theoretical specification and systematic empirical study guided by such theory. (p. 401)  How I trust people is uniquely constructed by my own cognitive activities undertaken during reciprocal relationships with others. Without the presence of others, I cannot form a feeling of trust. I need to understand personal, social, institutional, and global connections that exist between and among people. The more I understand the necessity of this reciprocal relationship, the more I can trust, relate to, and communicate with others deeply. Patti Tamara Lenard (2012) explains that trust is of core importance to the integration of democratic politics that are culturally engaged: a lack of trust would cause failure within multicultural democracies. 19    Ultimately this could potentially raise the number of cultural and religious minorities being discriminated against (pp. 2-3).       20                v Exhibition 2: Kizuna   In this opening exhibition, Kizuna, I share my desire and struggle as an artist living in Canada, particularly after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011. I invite you as witness to walk along my artistic journey of pain, while I reflect sincerely on my feelings towards Japan, an ocean away.  21     !" ##!!!"#$%&%'%()!*!#!                    !!  !!!!!!!"#$%&'!! !22            4. Yuriage, Miyagi, Tohoku (1/2), (2013)8                                                                                                                 8 More than 200 houses were here before 3.11 tsunami in this area. 23       My Liminal Place  Standing quietly at the shore of Kesennuma, my mind floats above the Pacific Ocean reflecting my thoughts; sadness, hopes and obligations. The water keeps changing its appearances without my intention so as my minds in my head. The silence of cold water makes me feel my cold fingers holding the camera steadily to capture my thoughts.  A string of thoughts goes in every direction.   Living on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver, takes me back to where I came from in my mind. Now, I am handed a blank note to fill in at the shore of Kesennuma. What should I fill in the note is still unknown yet my words move in every direction to catch my thoughts behind my eyelids.   Staring at the water of the Pacific Ocean makes my head numb. Cold...very cold…. One after the other, a wave comes and goes without my intention as does my anxiety in my heart. Blood streams rushing to my heart, eyelids closed tightly as I feel my hands closed. I say in silence ‘Please, not again...’   I cry on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.   (2013)9                                                                                                                 9  This poem, My Liminal Place (2013) was presented at the Roy Barnett Recital Hall during the Scientific and Academic Knowledge, the biannual University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS) conference (2013), UBC.  http://pwias.ubc.ca/media-centre/wall-papers/spring-2014/student-arts-based-competition-on-theme-of-water/   24    3.11, Disaster ,  Trauma, and 心のケア  (Kokoro no kea) :  Trust   On March 11th 2011 (3.11), an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 hit the Tohoku region of Japan. The event is now known as 3.11, the Great East Japan Earthquake. The 3.11 Earthquake, followed by a tsunami (estimated at 37.9 meters at its highest point), also caused the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant radiation accident (Nagamatsu et al., 2011). Many people who experienced this event are still suffering emotionally from post-traumatic stress. For example, over 1500 children lost both parents and became orphans (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2012).  I worry about people who have been removed from their hometown where their hearts belong and their spirits are rooted. I can easily imagine how tired many of the Tohoku victims, who were evacuated and continue to stay in temporary housing or with friends’ and relatives’ houses. The tsunami is not over for them. Researchers claim that people who experience difficulty sharing their childhood traumatic experiences with others over a period of time can develop disease related health problems later in their lives (Pennebaker & Beall, 1986). The need for support of the victims' mental health is essential. It is important to have a long-term program supporting people in most need in the affected areas in Tohoku (Takeda, 2011). It is easier to observe the healing of disaster victims who suffered physically, while the mental health of Tohoku victims is challenging to observe. Researchers are already aware that victims’ metal health is an important issue to contend with. As a result, psychiatric services are absolutely essential for a longer term than the medical services for physical diseases (Takeda, 2011). While different types of doctors are searching for the best possible way to help the Tohoku victims, there are also many artists and  25    educators who have been supporting the victims. These people often understand the value of community and maintaining connections between people. Kobe, Japan was also hit by an earthquake (Magnitude 7.3) on January 17, 1995, (The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake/Kobe Earthquake) and was considered the worst disaster in Japan after the end of World War II, killing 4,571 (see The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Statistics and Restoration Report, Kobe, p. 1). This report also informs us: [Kobe] city’s residents also suffered a great degree of indirect damage. The long period of residence in evacuee shelters caused mental fatigue, especially in children, disabled persons, and the elderly. The educational function of schools decreased due to shortened hours and the use of school facilities for shelters and temporary housing. (Kobe City, 2013, p. 3) Following the Kobe Earthquake, volunteer psychology graduate students from a nearby private university visited primary schools to ask the children to draw pictures as a therapeutic-intervention in an effort to help the children express their thoughts and feelings about the disaster. This is called ‘心のケア:kokoro no kea’ in Japanese which when similarly translated into English means ‘care for the heart.’ This style of treatment became one of the main symbols of the earthquake response (Breslau, 2000). Kokoro no kea was also witnessed often after the 3.11 at community events that included art exhibitions. In the case of the Kobe disaster, living in tightly bonded communities demonstrated that social connection helped life recovery of disaster victims, academic researchers, and local government (Sakamoto & Yamori, 2009). There are fundamental differences between Kobe and Tohoku incidents. Kobe, a large city, was the most affected area of the earthquake in 1995. At that time, the Japanese economy was fairly strong.... For the 3.11 earthquake, the Japanese economic 26    downturn affected the mental health of the Tohoku victims (Procter & Crowley, 2011), many from fishing villages and offshore rural areas, including small islands where people were unable to receive immediate support due to inaccessibility. Moreover, this was a total horror for children and youth who could not go back to meet their friends in their school, were far from their home, or could not try to find information about their missing family members who were also suffering from their own trauma of not knowing what had happened to their loved ones. Nicholas Procter and Timothy Crowley (2011) explain that since children and young people of school age have a close connection to their school communities, school becomes a potential place for psychological support, resilience building, and emotional stability to help their well-being. This report reminds us that education and places that offer learning opportunities give people comfort and ‘community trust’.  It has been more than three years since 3.11 and it is still hard for me to imagine how much pain the Tohoku victims have been going through…   27           3.11  我の身に 押し迫る波 涙腺の跡  Anxiety  choke my heart tears leave their path  (2013)   28    ‘art ’  as Ref lect ive - se l f  Immediately after 3.11, I was in a deep depression and worried about Tohoku, Japan. I was in Vancouver, Canada when I heard the tragic news. I was a visual arts student at UBC. I was in shock and felt sick to my stomach. I could not focus on my academic duties. I was contemplating the answers to my questions, “What am I doing in Canada now...what can I do...?” Then, I received an email from Linda Ohama, a Japanese Canadian filmmaker, my friend and mentor, who asked many of us to come together as a community of inquirers at Tonari Gumi, the Japanese Community Volunteers Association. A room full of people gathered immediately to put our ideas and concerns together. There were interdisciplinary communities of artists, entrepreneurs, government officials, students and educators. We were there with the same question: What can we do for Tohoku, Japan? As many people in the world were in disbelief and started to support Japan, we could also act fast to support Japan. We were a community of trust. We trust others because we have something important in common; co-nationals meeting in foreign countries often extend and reciprocate trust simply by the virtue of finding themselves together as outsiders in a foreign country.  (Lenard, 2012, p. 15) Linda was the one who had a clear objective to do something for Japan from Canada. We were all in tears together. Because of Linda, I was able to connect with many people in the Japanese-Canadian community right after 3.11 in Vancouver. In a couple of days, many of us gathered and formed a society: BC-Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. We organized countless fundraising events and exchanged our sincere feelings about Japan. Through this organization, I focused on talking with many people. I did not have time to concern for my own well-beings. Lenard states, “[T]rust 29    isn’t only a feature of intimate, interpersonal relations; it is also a feature of our social and political lives” (2012, p. 16).  In 2013, I visited Tohoku and tried to understand the situation. I wanted to see the situation for myself rather than just watching the news on TV in Canada. After the visit, I realized that I could not do anything but listen to their stories firsthand. I was emotional and lost. It felt wrong to be there and helpless. A lady at Kesennuma said: “You didn’t need to come all the way to Tohoku but you came from Canada...you said your parents live in Gifu prefecture right? Thank you for not forgetting us…we fear people forgetting us the most. We appreciate you spent time and money to come here to listen our stories.…” I was not sure if I was welcomed by the lady at Kesennuma or the many other people who were still going through a hard time. My depression level increased when I visited Tohoku. I became more aware of my responsibility and found deeper meaning in my creative practice.  This is a reflection of the reciprocal relationship I formed between Tohoku people and myself. Margaret Foddy and Toshio Yamagishi (2009) explain that we seek to understand others’ identity and their trustworthiness by gathering information of others through our interaction and observation of strangers’ uncertain behavior (p. 17). To me, trust needs to be studied during a specific time, at a specific place and about specific people in order to come to a deeper understanding. “Many theoretical discussions [are] the role of trust in society… but empirical investigations that clarified the specific role trust played in varied social settings were less numerous” (Levi, Hardin, & Cook, 2009, p. xi). I am one of many people who experienced indirect trauma from the 3.11 incident.  I am still affected by this event.  I 30    believe this specific situation is worth examining and sharing with other people for future research. Levi, et al. (2009) suggests that we as researchers should pay attention to various conditions and situations of the relationship of trust that are not clear (p. 17).                                     31    Kizuna: Bond (2013) 10   Water is the most important resource for the lives of all living organisms on earth and it is powerful enough to both save and destroy life.   On March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake with a magnitude 9.0 and a tsunami hit the Tohoku region of Japan. We see borders on a map, however, nature is borderless. A disaster that happens in one place does not stay only in the affected area. It has ramifications for everyone who shares our planet. I have been supporting Japan from Canada for the past two and half years, while much of the debris from Japan has been arriving to rest on the shores of British Columbia. This reminds us that we live on the earth together and a water disaster like 3.11 carries this message.   I was born and raised in Gifu, Japan. Gifu does not have an ocean yet many of its rivers and streams bond with the ocean. In Gifu, “Mino washi” (Japanese paper made in Mino, Gifu) is well known for its high craft. Pure river water creates washi’s organically beautiful appearance, strength and longevity. I wanted to reflect the spirit of Japanese people in Tohoku, who have been suffering yet trying to rebuild their life again using the washi.  A large number of Japanese immigrants settled in Steveston, BC, during the 19-20th centuries and were relocated from their homes during WWII. As an immigrant living in Canada I feel a strong bond with the Pacific Ocean that has been closely connecting Japan and Canada in my mind since March 11, 2013. This is the reason I needed to create the artwork ‘Kizuna’: Bond (2013) to express my current feelings about water and Japanese communities.   (Gillard. 2013; see also 2014)                                                                                                                 10This is my Artist Statement of a winning research project - Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC student competition: Arts-­‐based conceptions of water, 2013 http://pwias.ubc.ca/media-centre/wall-papers/spring-2014/student-arts-based-competition-on-theme-of-water/   32           5. Kizuna (1), 2013      33    Kizuna: Bond (2013) Art-based research process  March 11…  I am shocked, hurt, and sad.  I reflect on my feelings for Tohoku. At school, home, wherever my heart takes over my mind. I know my body is in Canada.  But my mind is in Japan. Time passes so quickly... Now, I am lonely. I talk with many of you…yes, you.  You hug me, cry with me, silently together. We all rush to ride the airplane to solve our mind-body problem. I start listening to my mind… Silence. I look down on the Pacific Ocean from the above where sun shines in my eyes. There is no voice inside me.  I am arriving in the land of the rising sun. I see the flag blowing in the air of new life.  A season of cherry blossoms.  “Oh, I love it!” I scream.  The cherry blossoms have been the best supporters of our depression. Probably… For their colour and appearance. How they dance and sing together. 34    Our symbol. I am happy. I don’t know why I am crying now…  My first visit to Tohoku.  After arriving, I listen. And listen more. My camera stays in my bag for a long time. But my eyes are wide open, so are my ears.  I say, “Oh, I am glad to hear and feel you!” without opening my mouth. I feel all my senses are alive finally.  I visit Mino washi craftsman 11in Gifu. He is a gentle master artist. He does not show even a millimeter of his status. His wise presence and sincere personality welcome me.  He talks and I listen. I talk and he listens. There is a slow and beautiful time in between us concerning Tohoku. The room is cold. He shows and explains.  Water splashes orderly. He gathers and pounds. He releases and forms. I watch and watch.  Precious Japanese paper looks soft and perfect with his care.                                                                                                               11美濃手漉き和紙の伝統工芸士/職人: 加納武さん「幸草紙工房(さいぐさがみこうぼう)」   (Artist: Takeshi Kano: Saigusagami-Kōbō)  35    “Oh, how beautiful!” I scream.  The paper travels back with me in Canada. On the way home, I reflect about the people I met. Darkness moving outside the plane window.  My mood inside alive with anxiety. I am sad.  Sad to see the treasure I brought back from Japan, including Mino washi.  I cut it. I cut the Mino washi into pieces. I am crying… Each time I cut, I cry more. The perfectly created Mino washi becomes pieces on my floor randomly. They don’t know where they belong anymore. There is a voice. “You know where we belong.” I pick one by one and tie them into knots. The last piece of the cut washi jumps into my hands to be connected with others.  They all form one long string. My Kizuna sculpture becomes alive.  I travel to Steveston with the sculpture It is a gloomy day. Cold, just like Kesennuma. I stand at the edge of the Pacific Ocean for a long time. I don’t cry. I look far away to where the grey fades into the endless horizon. Huge driftwood lying still, don’t know why he is there to welcome me. 36    I feel safe beside him. I decide.  The sculpture is in my hands secure. My knots look organically beautiful. I say gently, “Ok, …don’t worry…I am holding you all.” My knots slowly immerse into the Pacific Ocean.  My hands feel gravity getting stronger every second.  “Oh, no! No, no…..no.” I scream.  Soon my sculpture is soaked. The sculpture is so heavy and helpless. I pull all of them back slowly.   I rest them on the driftwood. Drip, drip, drip… I sit beside them. Drip, drip, drip… Each of them talks to me. I listen and they talk.   "Don’t you want to take our pictures?” Here I hear voices again.  I am already documenting my process.  But the process is not in my hands. It is given.  It is a gift. I go close to them. I hear each story; sad, happy, and courageous. 37     This process is never meant to just create an art project. This process is meant to heal me and create dialogues with you…  (2013-2014)   38    As my last part of the Kizuna ritual, I brought my dried Kizuna sculpture to the conference12 and displayed it with UBC tap water on the balcony of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC. The sculpture overlooked Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful sunny day. On the balcony, I shared my stories and concerns about Tohoku.  I explained all participants, “You can interact by pouring the water onto my artwork. Kizuna means ‘Bond’. Please bond with Tohoku, Japanese culture/spirituality, the Pacific Ocean/Steveston, and artist.”  Many people enjoyed standing in front of it, some people had courage and went right in front of my sculpture and pour the water, and few people stayed away from the sculpture yet watched everyone’s interaction for a long time. It was beautiful to see how each person interacted on their own way…                                                                                                                 12 My interactive sculpture was presented and interacted by international participants at the Scientific and Academic Knowledge, the biannual University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS) conference (2013), UBC.  http://pwias.ubc.ca/media-centre/wall-papers/spring-2014/student-arts-based-competition-on-theme-of-water/   39        6. Kizuna (2/3), 2013 40        7. Kizuna (4/5), 2013 41        8. Kizuna (6/7), 2013  42              9. Kizuna (8), 2013         43          10. Kizuna (9/10/11), 2013 44        11. Kizuna (12/13), 2013  45              12. Kizuna (14), 2013   46               v Exhibition 3: Learn Future Re-learn Past in Present  In this exhibition, I invite you to connect with me through your creative mind. As an artist, researcher, and educator, I would like to engage you to explore what it means to relate to others through one’s unknown and unclear metacognition. The exhibition includes conceptual work (words) of Linda Ohama, which is a key component of understanding my own artistic practice.    47     !!""!!!"#$%&%'%()!*!!!!!!!!!"#$%&!'()(%#!*#+,#$%&!-$.)!/&!-%#.#&)!!"          !!!48    Personal Story as Research  In the 1970s, some arts education researchers became interested in using the practices of artists and art critics as a way to conceptualize their educational research. In time, this movement became known as arts-based inquiry. By the 1990s, this phenomenon grew to include narrative writing, autobiography, visual arts, photography, poetry, and creative non-­‐fiction to name a few. This was a paradigm shift in educational research that contributed to an increase in social awareness of art practices as an important part of research inquiry (see for e.g., Sinner, Leggo, Irwin, Gouzouasis, & Grauer, 2006).  As I was experiencing a hard time understanding the Western view of ‘Art’ and still dealing with my own tsunami of being told that “poetry is not art,” I shared this feeling with Manuel Piña, artist, and one of my undergraduate professors of Visual Arts at UBC. He listened, supported me and my art practice, and introduced me to the book Being with A/r/tography, which lit a new candle in my life in 2011. Shortly afterward, I heard the horrific news of 3.11. All my life, I have enjoyed listening to people’s life stories and in return, I have shared mine. Each story exchange I have had with family, friends, and strangers has helped me to grow and to understand our differences. It does not matter their age, nationality and gender. There is always something I find fascinating to learn about humanity. Freeman (2008) states,  Autobiography is among the most important and valuable vehicles for exploring the human realm in all of its depth, complexity, and richness…[to understand humanity] from the vantage point of the current time, the meaning and movement of the past. (pp. 45-46)  When I am depressed, words start to come out in my mind to form a shape ‘a poem’. Often I am not ready to write anything down, so I try to visualize what my words describe in my mind. 49    This is one of my ways of retaining my thoughts as long-term memory until I let them materialize on a paper. Perhaps it is my privilege to be able to do this. I had to learn this skill to survive as a lonely child.  …‘narrative inquiry,’ a portion of which considers life stories,...uniquely suited to exploring issues ranging from selfhood and identity to the process of development throughout the [human lives]…Insofar as the human person cannot be known except in the unfolding of his or her unique and unrepeatable history, autobiography may be seen as the privileged path to such knowledge…[b]ecause autobiography is predicated on understanding the ‘real lives’ of individuals, qualitative work that draws on autobiography is, of necessity, context specific and ‘encultured.’ (Freeman, 2008, pp. 45-46) I was not aware that an autobiography could be a useful and meaningful tool for me to share my concerns in academia until I was hurt. I now know why I was so devastated by the statement about poetry. It was because I felt that my ‘real life’ story was not worth sharing. However, right after 3.11, I had a chance to re-examine this thought carefully. For instance, I could only learn the truth of 3.11 victims’ feelings from individual survivors, and I realized that even one person can contribute something to important issues in society by telling their story. I soon learned that there were many victims that started to write diaries, letters, poems, and songs to overcome their anxiety through media. Autobiographies can be a meaningful process of one’s research event, which has an association to one’s remembered and constructed thoughts as a memory of key events, places, and times that is transformed into ‘ways’ of telling one’s life; “Personal experiences and autobiographical stories can be sources for insightful analysis and innovative social science” (Coffey, 2004, pp. 46-47). 50    Since 3.11, I have had many chances to revisit my past memories, which comfort me and enable me to trust myself. Linda was the one of many who truly knew what she wanted to do as an artist to support Tohoku. So, I was desperate to learn more about her story. In my autobiography research, she became an important person in my life story. She was a stranger, a Japanese Canadian filmmaker, and an artist in the past and she is still all of these things, except not a stranger anymore. She is my friend. Her role in my research is an artist who cares about Tohoku’s recovery. She is an artist, researcher and educator. While I gathered and selected my past artwork, poems, paintings, photographs, narrative writings, and journals, I also interviewed Linda. She was full of spirit and wisdom and expressed her feelings through her life stories that she believed would help guide me. After getting long answers to my questions, I digested her words and reproduced them into our story which I will share here in Exhibition 3. Since this thesis is written autobiographically, I intertwined Linda’s story with mine, which reflects my frustrations as an artist through her eyes of what being an artist means to her and what she believes an ‘artist’ should be doing in society.  In autobiographical case studies, the individual who is the subject of the study writes his or her own life's account. These accounts are in narrative form and include diaries and journals used to record the events of one's life and are generally written with consideration of a future readership…what constitutes autobiography [is, that is] social practices that are a part of our everyday life and mark the links between the personal and the political have been reconstituted as autobiography. (Mogadime et al., 2010, pp. 42-44) Rreciprocal relationships created after 3.11 among victims and researchers are continuously present. From my experience of dealing with catastrophe, the gathering of artists 51    from different fields; music, film, photography, paintings, and performance that support Japan are a reflection of the reciprocal relationships often found in a/r/tographic communities.  For instance, at one of the fundraising events I organized at the Water Fall Events in 201113, I had many conversations with artists and guests concerning Tohoku, Japan. Donald MacDougall, one of the collaborating artists who donated his work for the event, was one of many who spoke of his sincere concern towards Japan. He was a PhD candidate at UBC at that time and suggested I meet with Rita Irwin who was one of his supervisors. This was my second time to hear Rita Irwin’s name from someone I had just met. MacDougall said:  “Yoriko, what you have been doing is what I have been learning from Rita and she will be interested in your stories…I am sure you will like her. I will email her about you today...you should meet her!” I was shocked by his words but I respected his opinion and trusted him because of his passion to connect me with someone he trusted. It was after I became Dr. Irwin’s student, I heard through a faculty-wide email that McDougall passed away from cancer. I would never have a chance to talk with him again….  Reciprocal relationships between artists and their environment/life situations are unique to each of us, just like the story of MacDougall and myself. Carl Leggo (2008) explains: “We need to write personally because we live personally, and our personal living is always intertwined with our other ways of living—professional, academic, administrative, artistic, social, and political” (p.5). MacDougall was a friend of many great local artists who donated their artwork to my fundraising event, Sakura saku Nihon e…/ To the Land of Cherry Blossoms... in 2011. His personal contribution to                                                                                                               13 I was an organizer and curator for the event: Sakura saku Nihon e…/To the Land of Cherry Blossom… 52    the world was his wisdom in making connections with people who have a passion to make change in society and this action is art itself.  Thank you very much, Mr. MacDougall… In 2012, I was not sure about going back to graduate school at UBC since I was overwhelmingly busy with my earthquake relief activities. Yet MacDougall’s passion led me to meet with Dr. Irwin in person before applying to the MA degree program. Dr. Irwin was very warm and kind as I imagined from MacDougall’s expression. I shared my tsunami experiences with her. I was emotional and also passionate about my voice and the struggles I had of being caught in the middle between Japan and Canada. She invited me to take her a/r/tography course without registering for the MA program. This opportunity was one of the biggest chances I was given to trust myself again.  In Dr. Irwin’s class, she encouraged us to think deeply about the meaning of our lives as artists, as researchers, and as educators; ‘as a/r/tographers’. I soon learned to express my feelings through a combination of narratives, poems, and visual art. I felt comfortable and felt at home. I had the freedom to share my perspectives with a diverse group of classmates coming from different cultures and backgrounds who were concerned about art and its responsibilities. “[A]/r/tography acknowledges the practices of artists, researchers, and educators as places of inquiry and uses those practices to create, interpret, and portray understandings” (Sinner et al., p. 1228). My classmates were all registered in MA or PhD program at the Faculty of Education at that time, and I was intimidated at first. I soon realized that there was no need to feel this way. Under Dr. Irwin’s guidance there was respect and sincerity.  53    The more I exchanged my thoughts with my classmates in her class, the more I understood that I was stuck with only one Western person’s perspective (my undergraduate lecturer) about the statement, “poetry is not art.” In fact, everyone in Dr. Irwin’s class thought poetry was art. I then realized that at the time I heard that statement my tsunami was too big and I was not ready to hear a completely different opinion from someone I trusted in an institution of higher learning. I almost blamed everything on Western perception and almost lost the chance to exchange different opinions in Western academia in 2010. But after processing my contemplations through my art, I gained the courage to share my experience. Redirect ion of Trust   Jennifer E. Drake and Ellen Winner (2012) state that art making can redirect the negative mood created by one’s traumatic past experiences to a less negative mood. Cognitive activities are closely related to one’s personal experiences. Image has the power to bring one’s conscious mind to heal personal painful memories. Thus, visual art facilitates trauma-related distress by creating dialogic, participatory and transformative approaches to avoid further stress that might alleviate victims’ current trauma (Escuta & Butterwick, 2012). Cathy Smilan (2009) also argues that Art Education has the purpose of providing learners with opportunities to develop their abilities to understand their own cognitive activity and to express their meaningful selves in ways that connect deeply with their emotions. Thus, the process of creating arts, including visual arts, drama, and creative writing, is crucial to children of all ages who suffer from trauma.  Natural disasters are unpredictable because of the post-damage that spreads beyond the victims’ lives. There are many scholars, doctors, volunteers and artists who keep visiting Tohoku to 54    support and help survivors to build back their positive spirit ‘trust’. I believe I am one of them yet I still feel lost sometimes: I am doing enough to support them? This struggle is similar to how I have been dealing with my belief in poetry and in the art community. I was fortunate to find a new direction to trust myself and keep writing poetry so I now need to find some ways to believe in myself as an artist who sincerely cares about other people’s lives.  People are traumatized and depressed inside and outside Tohoku, Japan. None of us know how effective disaster relief will be for 3.11 victims. In the past three years, one of my responsibilities has been to not forget about them and keep examining my feelings. I am one of those people living outside Japan who becomes depressed easily when hearing the negative reports of people in Tohoku. Now I hear some promising reports from the media speaking about Tohoku victims who are regaining their trust with nature, something they encounter daily through their jobs, lives, and sense of spiritual belonging.  My sense of belonging is caught between Japan and Canada. In the article Communities of A/r/tographic practice, Irwin (2008) states, “An a/r/tographic community of practice is a community of inquirers working as artists and pedagogues committed to personal engagement within a community of belonging” (p. 75). From Japan to Canada, my mind floats in-between various liminal places. These in-between places are necessary for me to free my mind as I examine being truthful to my own voice and my own actions. Shaun McNiff (2008) cites words from Pablo Picasso at the beginning of his paper, “I never made a painting as a work of art, it’s all research” (p.29). 55    While I was visiting Tohoku in 2013, I kept collecting my thoughts in my journals, field notes, poems, photography, and videos. “It has been said writers are profound psychologists; the same can be said of artists as researchers” (McNiff, 2008, p. 38). He continued that art creation not only satisfies artists but also intertwines relationships between participants/audience and creators allowing them to experience the time they both share. I have a responsibility as an artist to continue sharing my research.  “The telling and sharing of stories have important social functions” (Atkinson & Delamont, 2006, p. 165).   56          13. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students in downtown Vancouver (1), 201014                                                                                                                 14 Portrait of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students in downtown Vancouver (1-3) has been published in Road to discovery: A multidisciplinary undergraduate research journal. 3(1), p. 30-31.  http://uro.ubc.ca/files/2010/03/Volume-3-Issue-1.pdf   57    Mind as a Way of Connecting  As John Berger (1972) states in Way of seeing, humans see and recognize things in the environment first to comprehend our world and secondly to use words to explain what we saw in order to communicate with each other (p. 2). What humans believe we know is merely what we have decided to explain, define or name as our own perspective through our own culture and environment. Berger states: We see what we look at and so relate to it. We also become aware so that we can be seen, and so are aware we are part of the visible world. This results in the understanding that others may see things differently. This two-way (reciprocal) nature of vision comes before dialogue. (p. 23)  One’s perception becomes a spectacle of modern society to create beautifully fragmented prisms to enjoy the different colours that gather together in front of us. As a Japanese immigrant, woman, artist, researcher, and educator, I seek position in society to understand individuals who make the effort to connect with others, understand differences, and seek not one correct answer but many. I often situate my position in an imaginary space and in a person’s imagination or what I believe the person is imagining poetically. I want to understand and relate to what people are feeling and thinking as much as possible so I can connect with them easily. This cognitive activity is uniquely constructed by my preconceived ideas such as facial expressions of sadness with tears that tell me the person is experiencing some obstacles or difficulties in their life. Or perhaps someone is avoiding eye contact, which could mean they are shy or hiding feelings that they do not want to share with others. 58    When observing Japanese people, I can easily guess what they might be thinking and feeling by looking at their facial expressions and body gestures. Many Japanese people would say that they can tell when other Japanese might not be happy, but smile to be courteous: 建前 (Tatemae). This Tatemae is used for many situations out of respect for other people or even to avoid having a personal conversation that might not be welcomed at that moment. Our life gets too busy to communicate verbally, but our minds connect with others during our everyday interactions without any obvious word expressions within each of our own communities, including a wide variety of online communication hubs.  The visual image I see in my mind engages me to remember the past events I have experienced that are unclear and fragmented. My desire to recall them is present. I also imagine new unseen images in my mind as future events that might possibly occur. Part of what imagery [our brain] conveys is precisely a condition of confusion...[an image] does not aim to transcribe sense memory into common memory; it offers only fragments of memories, written onto the body [that] can be read only in reference to the viewer’s bodily sensation. (Bennett, 2005, p. 29)   59               14. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students in downtown Vancouver (2), 2010            60    Jill Bennett insists that there is ‘an inside and an outside’ with regards to our mind’s relation to our visual encoding and decoding activity. I think outside is ‘observable’ and inside is ‘unobservable’. Karl Raimund Popper (1999) explains, our mind works in between World 1 (the world of physical events), World 2 (the world of mental events), and World 3 (the world of products of the human mind that is the sense of theories, including false theories, and the world of scientific problems, including questions that arise for the truth or falsity of various theories). He also states that literary and artistic works are included in World 3. If I extend Popper’s theory using my own terms, I see: World 1 as the ‘observable physical event’ in which we can all see behaviors, forms, shapes, and colors; World 2 as one’s ‘private mental space’ that is unobservable subjective thought processes to comprehend one’s own understanding of phenomena; and World 3 as one’s ‘public mental space’ that is unobservable objective thought processes to understand the purpose of sharing one’s comprehensive capacity of phenomena. In these three spaces and in between them, images exist as concrete, less concrete or blurry forms that contribute to making meanings in our lives.  For example, I apply Popper’s theory to analyze my behavior. When I saw the image of Joseph Kosuth’s artwork One and Three Chairs (1965) on a slide being presented at an art history lecture, I looked at the slide and tried to listen to the professor explaining the artwork. Because the lecture included so many other slides in a short time, I could only take my notes quickly without thinking deeply about each slide. I was caught up with my academic duty of memorization rather than enjoying each artwork on slides to analyze my own view. As a result, I put star marks beside names of artworks I was intrigued by to further research in my own time. For instance, as I looked at Kosuth’s work, my brain worked partly autonomously and partly objectively to react quickly 61    through my vision. Later on, I recalled the image of Kosuth’s work in my mind as a memory and started to analyze and synthesize my perception. This mental process happens whenever I am awake and these cognitive activities become products of interactions between my ‘private mental space’, ‘public mental space’, and my past ‘physical events’ that are all intermingled in a disorderly fashion. Bennett explains Pierre Janet’s words by saying that one’s experiences are processed through one’s cognitive scheme to identify, interpret, and assimilate to narrative one’s familiar past experiences as ‘deep memory’ and ‘sense memory’, which is the affective memory. In addition, Bennett states that the art making process resonates with memory activities in our brain that involve the rethinking of the concepts of affect and expression. Thus, I believe Popper’s ‘World 3’, Janet’s ‘affective memory’, Bennett’s ‘rethinking of the concepts of affect and expression’ and my ‘public mental space’, are all similar mental activities we define to understand how humans interact with one another. Therefore, the most important thing is to understand how we use various definitions to explain the same phenomena in our lives as we connect with one another. This similarity is not something we should use to go against another instead; we should embrace such multi perceptions that discuss the human metaphysical world15.                                                                                                                 15  Matsuo Bashō (Japanse name order), Natsume Sōseki (Japanse name order), Ludwig Wittgenstein,  Karl Popper, Marcel Duchamp,  Joseph Kosuth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ken Lum… There are many great thinkers who have been influencing my work spiritually and conceptually.  62        春の声  「おいで。」  「なーに、お父さん?」  「しーっ…、聞こえる?」  「なにが?」  「何がって、春の声。」  「えーっ?」  「ほら、そこを見てごらん。雪の中から小さな芽が出ているのが見えない?」  「あーっ、ほんと!寒かったでしょう…こんにちは!」  「こうした自然の声も聞こえるようになった方が人生は楽しいんだよ。」  「うん。」   (2014)16                                                                                                                  16 This memory is one of my best childhood memories in the natural environment with my father who taught me photography, painting, drawing and the spirit of nature.  63            15. Identity, 201017                                                                                                                  17This print, Identity (2010) was exhibited and sold at the Japan benefit concert “One Year Later Shaken but Never Broken” at Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, Burnaby, BC in 2012.  I was the director of the event to meet so many generous people.   64      Spring Voice   “Come here.”  “What is it Dad?”  “Shhh..., can you hear it?”  “Hear what?”  “You can’t guess? It’s a ‘Spring Voice’.”  “What?”  “There, can you see the little sprouts showing their face from the snow?”  “Wow, yes I see it! Hello! You must’ve been cold here...”  “You know, your life is much more enjoyable if you notice these voices from nature.”  “I like that.”  (2014)   65           16. Portraits of Vancouver from the eyes of ESL students in downtown Vancouver (3), 2010 66    Assumption as a Practice of  Living Inquiry My imagination helps develop assumptions in my head but my visual memory is never fixated or accurate. The visual cues I deal with daily quickly become fragments because of the enormous amount of information encoded and decoded in my brain. I am also highly selective to the information I recall as memories in my mental spaces, and this cognitive activity is connected with my preconceived ideas that are often experience-based knowledge and limited. For instance, I am constantly acknowledging how my Japanese heritage forms my ideology. This is partly because my memory (speaking Japanese language to communicate with and trust Japanese people) reminds me of the comfortable social position I have within various Japanese communities. Living Inquiry is a practice of inquiry into being-in-the-world.  It concerns care of oneself in the world. Living Inquiry encompasses how we experience our worldliness in everyday living and what awareness as a clearing brings before prejudiced eyes—those ready-made interpretations that otherwise happen behind our backs. As well it seeks awareness that sees newness, truth, and beauty in daily life. (Meyer, 2008, p.1) As I have described previously, I am one of many affected individuals going through a trauma due to the images of 3.11 distributed by the media. I keep recalling images in my mind to relate with Tohoku victims in my personal time. This mental interaction of private and public spaces is constantly firing back at each other by dendrites of neurons in my brain. As a result, while I cry, I also gain the energy and power I need to become stronger to act toward solutions.  What, when and how we see things in a given context and environment and depending on who it is, we are all related to each other in the act of seeing and this phenomenon is a product of a 67    reciprocal relationship between visualized images/objects and human internal thought process (Bal, 2003). For instance, my thinking is affected by visual encoding directly, so when I viewed scenes of the tsunami hitting Tohoku, Japan on TV, I was deeply affected and traumatized at first. Shortly after that, I began to understand or make sense of the tragedy and this helped to calm myself down, analyze, and synthesize the situations. The images of 3.11 still haunt me even with my eyes are closed or perhaps I can imagine more of them vividly with my eyes closed as they trigger my emotions. Bennett explains, “Emotions are felt only as they are experienced in the present; as remembered events, they become representations” (p. 22). Therefore, we should embrace the process of learning the future and re-learning the past in our present time.    68      風がささやいた  (Whispering Wind)   ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ・・・いつつ・・・  It is dark. No, it’s deep.  透明な渦。 音のない色。 見えない影。  Where are you?  境界線のない世界で遇った風が言った。 「時間だよ。」  「ねえ、もう少しいい?」まばたきをしてみた。  ひとーつ・・・ふたー つ・・・  I can’t feel my fingers.  幾重にも重なる波。 色のある音。 穏やかな光。  I am here.  境界線のない世界の風がささやいた。 「ありがとう。」  「ねえ・・・ううん、私もありがとう。」  I closed my eyes.   (2013) 69    Knowing as a Progress ive Mental Activity  I believe our relationships start from learning the unknown or, metacognitively, knowing what others know. This means, we often guess what other people might be thinking about in school, at the store, on the bus and in many other situations. To make sense of the way we guess, we try to relate ourselves to other people’s situation without asking them directly. This mental activity happens on these sites and also at home when we are alone. However, whatever we think of other people in our private and public mental spaces is intertwined with our own past experiences and differ from one person to another. For example, if one does not know another person’s culture, one needs to invest much effort in order to relate him/herself to the other person’s view by listening, asking, sharing, exchanging, and accepting each other’s differences. However, how can we relate to one’s culture through our visual experiences that are fragmented and unclear but have a great significance to an individual person?  Irit Rogoff (2001) states:  ...we attempt to read each culture through other, often hostile and competitive, cultural narratives. This process of continuous translation and negotiation is often exhausting in its denial of a fixed and firm position.... (p. 20) I believe that we will be able to understand each other better by reconstructing and deconstructing our ideologies through the practice of critical thinking, inputting and outputting information we think we know, and acknowledging the limit of human mental capacity to admit that we cannot know everything we think we can from one perspective. Bennett quotes Claparède‘s words, “It is impossible to feel emotion as part...[o]ne cannot be a spectator of one’s own feelings; one feels them, or one does not feel them; one cannot imagine them without stripping them of their affective sense” (p. 22). As I have been seeing victims of 3.11 on the TV 70    screen, I relate to them closely yet I still cannot know the exact feelings they went through and continue to go through. However, we have a mental capacity to analyze and synthesize situations based on our own experiences. One’s emotions do not need to be explained in words, rather we feel them in order to understand as we become honest with who we are. Every day is learning practice. Living is learning so living inquiry is our guide to connect with each other. Hongyu Wang (2009) explained: …the unknown potential of both self and other can be brought forth to meet in an interactive space for individual and cultural creativity. Such interplay between self and other is important in today’s transnational inquiry which works through the complexity and richness of intercultural boundary rather connectedness space (Wang, 2004) and spirals to another level of understanding, awareness, and relationships. (p. 47)  A/r/tographer:  Linda Ohama Linda and I originally met at Douglas College, BC, where I teach Japanese language in conversational lab classes. Her film, Obachan’s Garden, (Ohama, 2001) was showing. The film was informative, warm and poetic, giving the audience space to learn a Japanese Canadian history. Many of us had tears in our eyes while watching her film and rushed to talk with her after the film. I was sobbing and shy to speak up but thanked her: “Your film reminded me of my mother whose life wasn’t easy…thank you.…” Linda smiled and gave me a hug. Her poetic sense of expression allowed us to connect with her story in a different way positively.  71    I followed my dream of becoming an artist after meeting with Linda. During my undergraduate study in 2010, I researched Linda and presented her to my class. I was also planning to have a solo exhibition and invited her as a guest artist to show her film at my exhibition. She said “Yes” to my invitation even though I never met her before. We met for a second time in February 2011, a month before the 3.11. We exchanged our ideas for the exhibition, and I asked about her life journey between Japan and Canada. She was kind and introduced herself as an artist, a mother and a grandmother.  Now I have worked with her on several occasions for the same goal and know that what Linda has been doing comes directly from the goodness of her heart that cannot be consciously calculated. Harold H. Anderson (1960) infers: ...the unconscious seems to be a place where one's real self…and in a symbolic way enjoy beauty, live simply and efficiently, and be truthful to himself and to others, and unafraid. Consciousness by itself does not seem to be able to produce things of beauty, truth, and harmony, or at least not to do it so well as when it can draw on the so-called depths of the unconscious, the truth within the self. (p. 15)   Trust as Practice As one of my core investigations, I interviewed Linda Ohama who has been committed to sharing important social messages through the film she is currently working on about Tohoku. This interview helped me to study my anxiety, helplessness, distrusting feeling, and role as an artist.  Patricia L. Stuhr explains, “[Lucy Lippard (1991) says that] we cannot speak for the other, but we can speak up for them…” (1994, p. 177). Linda’s action reflects Lippard’s words. After 3.11, 72    Linda physically moved to Japan for a total of two and half years to support victims of Tohoku and in turn, has suffered from the effects of radiation caused from her visit to Fukushima where the nuclear radiation level was still high. She is back in Canada now and still keeps her spirit strong and passionate about her journey of telling stories that she calls “my responsibility as an artist.”  This year, Linda invited me to work with her during the translation process of her film.  Linda’s friends said, “...we know Linda will work hard as usual…” at her home party where I could meet many of her friends. I could tell they trust her as their friend and artist who has always been putting 100% of her heart in her work. When we invoke trust, we are invoking questions connected to whether we are willing to rely on another person to do something, even if we do not have all the information to be certain that she will do this thing. We substitute our lack of information with an assessment of her trustworthiness, an assessment of our own relative confidence that she will do this thing that we are relying on her to do. Often when we think about the phenomenon of trust, we think about the people with whom we are closest, on whom we rely to carry out a whole range of tasks on a regular basis. (Lenard, 2012, pp. 15-16) I have asked myself, “Why did Linda ask me to work with her?” and “Why do I want to work with her?” I believe the answer is simple: we trust each other.  I was fascinated by Linda’s work and spirit to support Tohoku through her artistic practice and curious to know her point of view on trust between the artist and the audience. I asked her about this and she said that the biggest dilemma for her as an artist is how to honestly and truthfully let her audience know who the Tohoku people are in her film. As I have been working on the translating processes in her film, I have had the privilege of learning about the difficulties 73    her interviewees have been experiencing through in Tohoku for the past three years. I have become emotional quite often in front of Linda and hit by many personal emotional tsunamis of my own. I expressed my feelings of disappointment to Linda about how I had not been able to help enough as an artist living here in Canada and wanted to help more. I was frustrated. Linda listened to me and explained that I am forgetting something important. She said: “…you better not focus on what you aren’t doing but rather what you are doing…you have been doing many things like raising money, organizing fundraising events, talking about Tohoku, translating in my film etc….you have to look at things that can add up in a positive way… you should focus on what you can do in your own way.…” (2014) I always become insecure so easily in Canada, especially if I need to use English to communicate with people when I encounter obstacles. I need some processing time to recollect myself and trust my abilities. Linda explained that she had the ability to express her emotions right after 3.11 and she could do that for herself and also for others who could not express such feelings. She believes that because she has this ability as an artist, she felt responsible to contribute her skill to bring people together and act quickly to help Tohoku for a better outcome. She said,  “…artists are in tune with feelings, emotions, and are usually humanitarians. Artists’ works connect one person to another person through their work and let people experience it from both sides of perceptions to share feelings….” (2014) As I have been questioning whether my artistic practice can be trusted by my audience or not, I asked Linda about how she sees trust itself. She explained: 74    “Trust is something that doesn’t happen instantly. That’s something you cannot create overnight. It’s something that you create all your life and start when you are a child, and something probably relating to your natural character. So if you are true to your natural character all your life and your decisions and your work, and you are consistent with all these, people will trust you…they might look at your history and/or meet you and they have more trust in you. How people see you is different for everybody but how people trust and respect me is very important, and how I respect others and trust others and myself is also very important….” (2014) While I was listening to her stories, I felt comfortable and gained some ideas about why I constantly revisit my past, especially my childhood memories, to regain my trust. This was eye-opening for me to be taught by an artist who I admire. I continued with my questions, asking about my emotional outpouring as I create my artwork. It is more like my emotions are present first, and I need to create something to express my feelings. Linda agreed that artists as human beings should focus and be aware of their own emotions through their creative practice. She also explained that being an artist is a privilege and a responsibility, and should exist in tandem.  I have felt caught in the middle of the two hometowns for a long time. This feeling creates my own tsunami, which places me in the middle of my own Pacific ocean. When I talked about this with her, Linda told:  “…you have a unique quality as an individual and being stuck in the middle of an ocean in between the two places ‘furusato[:hometown]’ is 75    a good thing. That is why you can have a unique perspective. That is the unique quality for you as an artist. Not too many artists can work from the middle of the ocean point of view….” (2014)  There is a reciprocal relationship among us as artists and as audiences, and by sharing our stories we can cultivate our feelings of trust more deeply. Art as life and art practices as our living inquiries should come from one’s heart in order to be trusted by diverse audiences.  The arts inform as well as stimulate, they challenge as well as satisfy. Their location is not limited to galleries, concert halls and theatres. Their home can be found wherever humans chose to have attentive and vital intercourse with life itself. This is, perhaps, the largest lesson that the arts in education can teach, the lesson that life itself can be led as a work of art. In so doing the maker himself or herself is remade. The remaking, this re-creation is at the heart of the process of education. (Eisner, 1998, p. 56)           76                v Exhibition 4: Yoriko Gillard  In the final exhibition, I explain who Yoriko Gillard is and how, when, where, what and why I have been investigating: the feeling of ‘trust’ in my life through my creative practice and sharing my insights with all my audiences. The performance “ART” is one of many art practices that I have shared to challenge dialogues among multicultural groups of people. “ART” is reviewed in this exhibition.   77      !" ##!!!"#$%&%'%()!*!#!!                                 !!!!!! "#$%"&'$(()#*!  78     Who am I? Are you happy? No. Who are you? You know who I am. Not sure. Well, ok, you are right. I don’t know who I am. You know. … Decide. … It’s time. Really? You know. Yes. I need to do it. Can you do it? I need to follow my heart. Trust.  Yes.  (2014)   79       17. Piece of me, 201118                                                                                                                 18 I cut my hair by myself after graduating from UBC in 2011 80    First Place for...   “Mom, I won the first place...but I didn’t stay for the celebration party because I felt it’s wrong…I don’t have passion for my profession as much as before. I wanted to win for you but not me...I only liked to make people happy through my job. I can’t live like this anymore... I have been lying to myself and you. I am sorry. I want to become an artist. I still have skills and can use them for right reason in the future but not for my status...you know people at the ceremony changed their attitude right after I won the first place... I was nobody for them at first and became someone I wasn’t...I don’t belong to those groups of people I realized. You don’t need to worry about my future anymore. I can support myself with this skill if I need to use. I have savings to go back to school overseas. I want to be honest with myself...my dream...so...I will quit a beautician. Are you ok?”  “Congratulations, Yoriko!  Of course, you can quit.  You can do anything you want in your life. I was hoping you would become the strong independent woman you are now. That’s all. Come home safe...”   Skill is always there with me but how, when and for whom I use my skills is my choice. I have privilege and responsibility at the same time as I respect others and am respected by others.    81          18. Painting as Personal Pleasure, 200319                                                                                                                 19 I painted this before entering UBC. I stayed with German host family who influenced me to learn about European art and beauty. I soon started to collect some Western antiques that I could never buy in Japan. I found the magazine called ‘Victoria’ fascinating and found one of many photographs representing Victorian culture interesting. This afternoon tea scene (photography) was a part of the magazine I read and wanted to copy down on a canvass as a memory of joy in a foreign country, Canada.  Ironically, the photo was taken by a Japanese photographer:  Toshi  Otsuki,     82            19. Painting as Research: Canadian Domestics, 200820                                                                                                                       20 I painted things I gathered at home for one of undergraduate studio courses at UBC.  I found Vancouver fascinating to be able to gather different cultural items but what is really made in or used in Canada? This was my simple question to put on a canvas.  I was told by one of lecturers “You can paint but so what?” I ask this question each time I see this painting positively.  This painting was also exhibited at Caught in the Middle, 2010, AMS Gallery, UBC  83     20. “ART”, 2010, AMS gallery, UBC21                                                                                                                 21 Post card for the “ART”(Conceptual Performance) and Caught in the Middle exhibition. They were reviewed in: • Making the Cut (2010), Ubyssey. UBC .  http://ubyssey.ca/culture/making-the-cut/ • Schema Magazine (2010).  http://schemamag.ca/2010/08/20/caught_in_the_middle_aug_23-27/#.U6FVsM1DHsI  84      21. “ART” (1), 2010 85        22. “ART” (2/3), 2010 86        23. “ART” (4/5), 2010   87    Trust in Others through Visual Experience I became curious about performing as inquiry into human trust after my own tsunami of “poetry is not art” comment. I wanted to experiment with my freedom of expression outside the classroom. I performed “ART” at AMS Art gallery, UBC in 2010. For this, I welcomed any willing participants from any discipline inside and outside UBC to be potential victims of my art practice as a Beautician (I called my role a wood sculptor).  One side of the gallery was filled with chairs for the audience facing the other side where I lined up volunteer participants which I called ‘Wood’22. In the middle of the room, I placed a high chair. Along both sides of the room, I placed four chairs on the right and four more on the left by the walls. These eight chairs were prepared for my carved Wood that they were going to be displayed on them. There were originally about sixteen brave people who came to become Wood. I explained that this was not exactly a free haircut and that they could not give any input and request a particular style. As a result, one person left and I continued: “Well, thank you for coming to be a part of my art. Now you are going to be placed on the floor facing our audience as pieces of wood. You can’t talk the whole time until this is over. The only information I will give to you is that I am a certified stylist in Japan and Canada. I am not interested in making you look crazy or anything like that to attract my audience. I am interested in observing you all and will select only eight people whose hair I want to cut to suit the way I believe looks good for                                                                                                               22 In Japanese language, there is no difference in one piece of wood and many pieces of wood. Both of them can pronounce as ‘ki’. In my writing, I am using ‘Wood’ as singular and also plural.  88    each person. Some of you might not like the style. Some of you might not be selected. This is all based on my decision. If you decide to leave during the performance for any reason, you are free to go at any time. Once your hair is cut, the cut hair becomes my property to use in the future. Now, I shall begin.” All the Wood were sitting on the floor looking at me and the audience. They could only see the process of my work, sculpting (haircut) from the back of the selected Wood (person’s head). The Wood of course could not see their new look but the audience could, and later we could all see the reactions of the Wood. This situation added extra tension for each person.  The audience seated on the chairs could view me as an artist sculpting one of Wood at a time. They also had the privilege of seeing the Wood look scared, nervous, anxious, and curious. The audience in the gallery might have thought that they were judging the event and artist, but this event included all attendees; the Wood, audiences, cameramen, media reporters, gallery curator and me.  All became part of my performative act of art that may have been judged by people who did not come inside the gallery space because they did not feel comfortable or could not trust me as an artist or the results I would produce for them.    89         24. “ART” (6), 201023                                                                                                                 23 Photo (6, 7, 8, 12, 13): Annie Hong, art effect added by me with her permission 90         25. “ART” (7/8), 2010   91         26. “ART” (9/10), 201024                                                                                                                  24 Photo (9, 10, 11, 14): Julie Hong, art effect added by me with her permission except (14) 92       27. “ART” (11), 2010   93    After this event, finally, all of us who were present at the gallery broke the silence to move around the gallery and asked questions of one another. The selected Wood were questioned about their feelings by the audience and the non-selected Wood.  Many photos were taken by photographers. I was asked how I selected Wood by everyone and I answered “I didn’t know until I saw eyes of each ‘Wood’. I selected those who seemed not to be afraid and trusted my skill as an artist….”  I set two small mirrors in the gallery far from the Wood that were visible for everyone during the performance, yet impossible for anyone to view themselves from where they were seated. All eight curved Wood rushed to the mirrors to see themselves after they were released from the chairs. This was another test for me to witness how we are tempted to check our own new look in mirrors more than asking other people how we look. All the Wood were interested in checking themselves in mirrors. Some Wood looked happy in front of the mirror and some checked quickly without much emotion and mingled with their friends in the audience who complimented them. Interestingly, many of the attendees were interested in the cut hair on the floor that became a compilation of a few different colours. I observed everyone’s behaviour and listened to the conversations happening in the gallery. The selected Wood were complemented by strangers in the audience and non-selected Wood who started to say, “Oh, I wish she chose me…”, “I should have been brave enough to become Wood! I liked that girl’s hair!”, and “I was hoping to get a new haircut! But I was a bit scared….” I could not hear everyone’s honest feedback but I believe this is how our life is. Some people offer their opinions directly and some people do not. One non-selected Wood asked me, “Why didn’t you choose me?” I answered “Oh, because when I looked at you, you looked scared. Were you?” she replied “Yes, but now I envy those who were 94    selected!” Later on, I put eight people’s hair together to create an intercultural sculpture that was exhibited in the same gallery the following week. I also presented the cut hair of the Wood as a cross-cultural sculpture later on in several exhibitions at a gallery, library, classroom, and conference room to create interdisciplinary dialogues. My lesson here was that we are careful and selective to trust certain things, with certain people at certain times and at certain places based on our own judgment.    95          28. “ART” (12), 2010   96          29. “ART” (13), 2010 97      30. “ART” (14), 2010 98             31. Intercultural ART, 201025                                                                                                                 25 I gathered and presented 8 international participants’ (Woods’) identity (hair) at my exhibition, Caught in the Middle (2010), AMS Gallery UBC  99            32. Cross-cultural sculpture (1/2): ‘New Born’, 201126                                                                                                               26 8 people’s hair on page 94 I kept carelessly in a paper bag for a year. It became a cross-cultural sculpture by itself. This sculpture was exhibited (2011) at Asian Library, Asian Center UBC This sculpture was also exhibited at the Explore Asian art exhibition (2011), Department of Asian Studies, UBC.    100    Now I look back at this event and can analyze how I was aware of my privilege and responsibility and at the same time respected by my willing participants. As well, I respected all attendees of this event. This is probably because I was aware of my position as a skilled Beautician in Japan, who was secure about my ability to make people happy. I did not care about any criticism I might receive from anybody and was secure about my freedom of expression.  Would I have understood this position earlier if my poem had been accepted back in undergraduate school? Would I have been happier to call myself an artist if everyone in that class had agreed with my point that poem was ‘art’ and supported me? I am not sure, but one thing I am sure about is that if I had not had such confusion and hurt, I would not have had the urge to have this performance to raise the question ‘What is art?’ which helped me to gain my confidence back. I was finally ready to accept different opinions and share this experience with people.  Marina Abramović is the artist who performed The Artist is Present (2010) at MoMA. 27 I was recommended to review one of her performances by Heidi May, who was a teaching assistant during the A/r/tography course taught by Rita Irwin in 2012. May found my conceptual performance “ART” had a similar concept to Abramović’s work.  Abramović's performance was conceptually evoked her participants and viewers. She tested the human psyche by letting participants sit in front of her during the entire performing period. Each participant chose their sitting duration. Some sat for a few minutes and some sat for more than an hour. What struck me while watching each one of the participants' image online was that I could relate to these participants emotionally, especially those who were crying in the photography. I was not there to observe the performance or the emotional participants, however, the photo-                                                                                                              27 This performance included four decades of Marina Abramović’s work: sound pieces, video works, installations, photographs, solo performances, and collaborative performances. The Artist is Present performance invited viewer participation, which took place throughout the entire duration of the exhibition, so visitors could experience her presence in front of their eyes. (Abramović, 2010) 101    documentation was powerful enough for me to extract human emotions such as contemplation, anxiety, condemnation, regret, sympathy, confusion, anger, loss and so on. Abramović's face was also photographed and intermingled in the stream of participants' photography so it helped me to understand what participants were looking at when they became emotional. My tears came out just by looking at some of the participants' crying faces and in the next few seconds, I was thinking about why these particular participants had tears in their eyes. Why did I feel their emotion and also have tears? Our ability to mirror one's feeling through visual materials (photography) is tested with this experience and I believe that one's trust must be involved with this behaviour.  Trust is still a very difficult feeling that humans cannot express in one word. I feel it is almost impossible to explain this feeling in words for everyone but it can be explained by relationships between artists and their audiences, such as the crying people in Abramović's work and the willing participants in my performance, Wood, putting their heads under my hands for unknown results. We trusted each other because of our position that intertwined our privilege, responsibility, and respect towards each other.      102                 v Epilogue   While the question, “How can we trust each other through art and its practice?” resonates through all four exhibitions, in the end I have come to understand that there are inevitable, reciprocal relationships between myself and others based on human trust, formed alongside privilege, responsibility, and respect with regards to the existence of others.   103      !" ##!!"#$%&'()!#!! !104    Trusting Mysel f :  Tsunami as a Part of  My Evolution I have investigated my research question: How can we trust each other through art and its practice? How can I trust my own creative practice and be able to share and connect with my audience honestly so that they can trust me? Through autobiographic narratives; my personal visit to Tohoku; stories of Linda Ohama; my past art practices; and literature and artist reviews, I came to understand that during particular turning points in my life, when something unexpected happened, I experienced my own personal tsunamis. Each time I encountered such hardships, I distrusted myself. I sought answers in an effort to gain trust back through my life and living inquiry. Each tsunami was a part of my evolution in understanding my humanity and more importantly, learning about the differences among us.  I also realized that trust is fragile: the Tohoku victims lost their homes by the tsunami. Without fighting back to gain such trust, we cannot rebuild our community and move on in life. Throughout my thesis, I wove a stream of my artwork to communicate with my audience (readers) artfully. Art as life and art practice as living inquiry, my journey as an a/r/tographer started as an unclear and stressful process in a Western university. After the investigation, I confirmed that my ways of artistic expression have always been truthful to myself at each stage, which is worth sharing with people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Moreover, the sympathy I have for others has been present since my childhood. This realization has helped me to understand how I can survive many obstacles in my life via art and its process. Most of the confusion I had with art itself in Canada was related to my own cultural background and upbringing and values that differ greatly between Japan and Canada. As art was 105    my tool to comfort and trust myself in my childhood, I lost interest in art practice for a while until I encountered some obstacles in Canada.  Witnessing 3.11 was one of the hardest things I have ever had to face as an artist and as a Japanese person. I am indirectly affected. This feeling created a strong bond; Kizuna with people who care about Japan’s recovery all over the world. I was depressed for a long time and felt helpless as an artist. This anxiety period was the awakening moment in my life, inviting me to inquire deeply into my life and its meaning. The process reconnected me with my childhood memories and helped me to recall the reciprocal relationships that were present. As a child, my hope to create anything was to have dialogues with people with different perceptions that formed our trusting community. This was something I needed to analyze in order to understand why I cared so much about the feeling of trust between my audiences and me as an artist. Now, my in-between place has become the most comfortable and honest place to create art. I no longer distrust my actions.  In summary, the word ‘trust’ is still an ambiguous word that is hard to define for every human being. But it is worth examining through one’s life as a living inquiry in different situations in the world. There are multi-dimensional ways of understanding art and its practice and how we gain one’s trust through them. I invited you to experience my four exhibitions and discussed how my feeling of trust is formed through my own art and art practice. Most importantly, I now can tell that there are reciprocal relationships between privilege, responsibility, and respect that are involved when I trust other people.  I believe Tohoku victims trusted their land, ocean, government, and even nuclear energy until an unexpected tsunami hit them. We as humans have privilege and take advantage all the 106    time. Do we know what our privilege and responsibility are in order to respect others clearly? I now ask my new living inquiry.  Living as Wisdom  Our knowledge comes from our past stories. My grandparents were living examples of knowledge. I trusted them for their experiences. They knew they had privileges as elders who had a responsibility to nurture me. They respected me as a person and as a child who had limited knowledge. Their smiles and warm hands have remained in my memories and have taught me gentleness and comforted me when I was stuck. Even though I was a child, I knew we trusted each other. Wisdom does not come from the heartless words of institutionalized ideas. It is a part of human trust, which is built by honest relationships among people.  My favourite foods include corn, cucumber, chestnuts, Japanese sweets and eggs and are a great memory of my grandparents. My grandmother cultivated all kinds of organic vegetables. They lived with my uncle’s family in the countryside of Seki city in Gifu prefecture, known for its Japanese knives and sword craftsmanship. We visited every New Year’s and Summer holidays.  Me: “Obaachan! Ojiichan! kitayo! (Grand-ma! Grand-dad! We are here!)” Grandparents:      “A-yokukitane-! (Oh-good to see you!)   I can still recall their gentle faces smiling at me when I close my eyes. Grandmother knew I could eat ten of her corn-on-the-cob, so she cooked about twenty for me every time I visited. My mother loved her cucumbers so my mother and I always rushed to grandmother’s field with a bucket full of water and sea salt to eat freshly picked cucumbers. The shiny green cucumbers are 107    not the same as what I eat here in Canada. The ones in Japan are about 1/3 of the size of the ones in Canada. I thought the Japanese ones do not grow as big as ones in Canada, but later I learned that Japanese farmers pick them earlier in order to satisfy the customers’ needs. So, if they picked them later, Japanese cucumbers would also become as big as the ones in Canada. Now I like them both because of their different taste and size and in different dishes.  My grandparents also had a chestnut farm. I could eat many chestnuts every year and I still love anything made with chestnuts. My grandparent’s busy time was when they needed to size chestnuts in different bags. They asked me to help size chestnuts by using a special ruler with various holes but I was too small to understand the concept. I put all of them through the biggest hole together. My grandparents laughed at me with joy. They said,               Grandfather:       “Oh, you are so smart! “              Grandmother:      “Small ones and big ones all go through this one hole don’ they?”   I thought I was doing the right thing but I wasn’t. I wasn’t doing the job that the adults were doing but they never said I was wrong. For them, I was doing what I could at the small age. For them, I was doing the ‘right’ thing. I can hear their laughing when I close my eyes.  My grandfather always complimented my handwriting. He was always kind to me. When I ate a huge ‘o-manjyuu’ (Japanese sweet) with him, I used to eat the outside skin part but not the inside (red bean). He always ate my leftover red bean and said, “I like the inside better.” Now, I like both the inside and the outside of the o-manjyuu. But back then, I did not know how the inside and outside of the Japanese sweet complimented each other for the best taste. His smile remains in my memory and I can smile at him in my mind. 108    Early in the morning, grandmother and I skipped to an egg farm near their house for fresh eggs. I knew something good happened that morning…‘Tamago-yaki’ (egg omelet)! My cousin did not appreciate it as much as I did because this was his routine. Grandmother made the best Tamago-yaki that everyone loved. I always helped her make one for me, so I soon learned to cook when I was at age six.  The eggs, corn, chestnuts, and cucumbers all of them are still my comfort foods…I miss you, Obaachan, Ojiichan…   109      33. Process of art-making, 2010-11    Art is my tool to communicate with people, fills gaps in between cultural  and language dissonance created in my mind…. It is sublime.    110      3=1 [Takako (Yoriko) Gillard]  You and I First was you Second then I Third is us Emergence Sense of one Origin of sense inside belonging truth invisible desire of all beginning of middle  (2009)28                                                                                                                 28  This poem has been exhibited in all Caught in the Middle exhibitions; (see also p. 5)  111      34. Self-portrait (2), “ART”, AMS Gallery UBC, 201029                                                                                                                29 This artwork was installed at both of my art events: “ART” and Caught in the Middle (2010), AMS Gallery, UBC 112    References  Abramovic ́, M. (2010). Performance. The Artist Is Present [video]. 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New York: Continuum. 116    Irwin, R. L. (2008). Communities of A/r/tographic Practice. In S. Springgay, R. L. Irwin, C. Leggo & P. Gouzouasis (Eds.), Being with A/r/tography (pp. 71-80). Potterdam: Sense Publishers.  Irwin, R. L. & Springgay, S. (2008). Ar/tography as Practice-based Research. In S. Springgay, R. L. Irwin, C. Leggo & P. Gouzouasis (Eds.), Being with A/r/tography (pp. xix-xxiii). Ki-ke-in. (personal communication, February 8, 2010). Backstory. Morris and Helen Belkin Art  Gallery. UBC. Kobe City, (2013). In The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Statistics and Restoration Progress. Retrieved  August 14, 2014, from http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/safety/hanshinawaji/revival/promote/january.2013.pdf Kosuth, J. (1965). One and Three Chairs. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/joseph-kosuth-one-and-three-chairs-1965 Leggo, C. (2008). Autobiography: Reseaching Our Lives and Living Our Research.. In S. Springgay, R. L. Irwin, C. Leggo & P. Gouzouasis (Eds.), Being with A/r/tography (pp. 323).  Lenard, P. T. (2012). Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from  http://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780271053950 Levi, M. & Hardin, R. & Cook, K. S. (2009). Whom Can We Trust? How Groups, Networks, and Institutions Make Trust Possible. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from  http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/books/9781610446075/ 117    Lippard, L.R. (1991). Mixed blessings. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Government of Japan. (2012). Response to the   Great East Japan Earthquake. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/kokusaigyomu/asean/2012/dl/Introduction_Dr.Yamauchi.pdf Meyer, K. (2006). Living inquiry: A gateless gate and a beach, In W. Ashton and D. Denton (eds). Spirituality, Ethnography, and Teaching: Stories from Within. NY: Peter Lang (pp. 156-166).  Meyer, K. (2010). Living Inquiry: Me, Myself and Other. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 26(1), 85-  96. Meyer, K. (2008). Teaching Practices of Living Inquiry. CSSE conference proceedings, Vancouver, BC.  McNiff, S. (2008). Chapter 3, Art-based research. In J. G. Knowles & A. L. Cole (Eds.),  Handbook of the arts in qualitative research: Perspectives, methodologies, examples, and issues (pp. 29-40). Thousand Oaks: California, Sage Publications, Inc. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book226626/toc Mogadime, D. (2010). Autobiography. In A. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of   case study research. (pp. 42-44). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved   August 14, 2014, from  doi: http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book231721?siteId=sage-us&prodTypes=any&q=A.+Mills%2C+G.+Durepos%2C+%26+E.+Wiebe+%28Eds.%29%2C+Encyclopedia+of+&pageTitle=productsSearch Nadaner, D. (1984). 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A mental health trauma response to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Holistic Nursing Practice, 25(3), 162-164. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e31821a6955 Rogoff, I. (2001). Studying visual culture. In N. Mirzoeff (Ed.), (2002). The visual culture   reader, second edition (pp. 24-36). New York: Routledge. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/theory/Rogoff-StudyingVisualCulture.pdf Sakamoto, M. and Yamori, K. (2009). A study of life recovery and social capital regarding 119    disaster victims – a case study of Indian Ocean tsunami and Central Java earthquake recovery. Journal of Natural Disaster Science, 31(2), 49-56. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnds/31/2/31_2_49/_pdf Sinner, A. et al. (2006). Arts-based educational research dissertations: reviewing the practices of new scholars. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(4), 1223-1270. 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Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/tci/article/view/301    120    Appendix   My latest artwork, Portrait  of  Yoriko Gil lard through the eyes of  art ist ,  Adela Chau: 3 ways of  who I am: Takako/Yoriko/Gil lard  (photo: Adela Chau, pp. 121-124) was exhibited in You and I  exhibition in the room 310, Scarfe Building (photo: Annie Hong, pp.125-126) which coincided with my MA thesis defence (performance) in the room 304A, Scarfe Building, UBC on August 7th, 2014. This was planned well ahead of time so I could invite people to connect with me intimately through my art and my art practice. It took me a long time to gain the courage to share the collaborative work I did with my friend, the artist Adela Chau (I call her; a photojournalist). She influenced my becoming confident about who I was. I met Adela during undergraduate course at University of British Columbia. We started to work on this project in 2009. She is such a sweet person that everyone loves immediately. She is a very pretty girl who is honest and kind. I could easily open up my heart to her… Let me trust  your eye . . .   I feared having pictures taken of me. Snapshots were the worst. I rarely let strangers take my photos. It is getting better now, but still I am shy to look into a camera lens. I often look mad or have no emotion when I see the photos taken in the past. I did not like smiling at the camera or did not know how… This fear was stripped away by Adela from 2009 to 2011. I trusted Adela taking hundreds of my photos. Maybe because of what she told me.  121    “You look nice when you are talking…and when you are thinking of something…” I wanted to know what she was talking about. At the same time she made me realize that how she sees me through her eyes could not be the same way that I see myself. She is the one who taught me that I smile often when I talk with people I trust. I was totally not aware of this. Adela asked me where I wanted to have my photos taken. I selected many places such as Steveston, New Westminster, Deep Cove, Pitt Lake, Fort Langley, and Chilliwack in BC. The places where many streams of water meet and merge with the Pacific Ocean, which connects to Japan on the other side of the ocean.  During our photo-shoots, she was cheerful and honest. Adela always said.  “Ok, why don’t you move around and look around. I’ll just look at you and start taking pictures. Don’t worry about the camera! Be natural… oh and if it’s too hard, just keep talking to me!” I have never experienced anyone in my life that could make me feel so natural in front of a camera. Soon, I forgot about her camera and started walking and talking to her. She also talked back to me just like we were talking in her car. I was happy to spend time with her at the places I like. Each time our shooting session finished, she showed me her photos right away in her car and 122    we talked about the hundreds of photos that Adela took of me. I was afraid first and shocked the next second. I said to her:  “How… ah… I look like this? Really? I like them… I never liked my photos…How can you make me look so nice? I know I am not pretty in real life.…” She explained why she was able to capture me at the moment and told me which were her favorite photos and the reason why. We often liked the same photos. It was just like we were picking out some clothing together and giving each other our own opinions why we liked it. In a way it was like I was meeting my counselor who kept guiding me to be confident. In the beginning of this project, I just had my normal makeup and hair. I wanted to see who Yoriko Gillard was in Adela’s eye. I usually like to dress up but not too much so Adela was happy to take my photos that way. Soon, I became confident about myself in her photos. It was a funny feeling I had never had. My appearance never changed in the mirror I saw the same me every day, but learning about Adela’s perspective of me changed the feelings I had of myself. I believe the trusting feeling we had towards each other reciprocated in harmony as friends.  For the last photo-shoot with Adela in 2011, I wanted her to shoot me with a different concept in mind. At that time, I was working on my artwork to find my identity. I was also trying to become a stronger person ‘Artist’, Yoriko Gillard. This was after I 123    had experienced my own tsunami “poetry is not art…” comment I received from the lecture in my undergraduate years. Adela suggested that I put more makeup and do my hair as if I were a model for this day. I was nervous, but I trusted Adela. It became a performance in front of Adela’s camera. So, she was like a director telling me where to look and how to pose. Adela directed me to look confident.  I am privileged to know Adela. Now three years have passed since Adela moved away to Hong Kong so I wanted to be responsible and respectful by letting her know that this project made me confident to say, “I am who I am.” On July 25th, I emailed Adela letting her know about my thesis and You and I exhibition. I also asked her to give me her permission to use her photos during my defence and exhibition. She congratulated me and said: “...yes you can use the pictures I took of you...I'm so glad I was able to make such an impact on your life, but you shouldn't be the old self and become all shy again, show everyone how fun and cheerful you are.” How can I survive this world without knowing that there is always someone looking at me with their kind eyes? What can I do now for other people? I will keep asking these questions.                                             Thank you        Adela… 124    125     

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