UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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


Beginning with art as life and art practice as living inquiry , 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.

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