On Being Michiko a sansei artist’s journey
Lillian Michiko Blakey
Tuesday, May 29 – Friday, June 22, 2012
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 31, 6-8 p.m.
On Being Michiko: A sansei artist's journey
Who am I? This is a question asked by all people whose roots are two cultures. Even though I was not born until the end of World War II and my parents were both born in Canada, I inherited the shame of all Japanese Canadians who were caught in the dilemma of being both Japanese and Canadian. Like many sansei, third generation Japanese Canadians, I grew up denying my cultural heritage, my first language and my people.
It is only in recent years that I have tried to reconcile my dilemma by depicting my family's story in my art work. I have attempted to bring past and present together by including myself, as I am now, looking back at events which had taken place so long ago which have shaped my worldview.
Alienation and persecution continue to be suffered by people all over the world. As a result, many people have come to Canada, seeking a peaceful existence in a just society. I hope that my work serves as a tribute to the courageous people who came before me and as a visual warning that the persecution suffered by my family can be repeated even in the most democratic of countries - even in Canada - if we do nothing to stop it.